4/20: Unofficial marijuana holiday today
Ryan Summerlin April 19, 2013
April 20, or 4/20, has become an unofficial holiday for marijuana smokers across the country.
Local dispensary owners say they’ve seen a spike in business in the past day or two, as their patients gear up for 4/20.
“We get a lot of people seeking their medicine and edibles prior to heading to the festivities,” said Jerry Olson, owner of Medical Marijuana of the Rockies in Frisco.
Owners of medical marijuana dispensaries in Summit County said 4/20 isn’t just an excuse to catch a buzz, it can also be a platform for marijuana users to be seen in the public arena.
“It’s a way for people who support marijuana to get out in the public and say this is what we enjoy,” said Justin Williams, owner of Alpenglow Botanicals in Breckenridge.
Some dispensaries were offering discounts and special items. Alpenglow Botanicals was also having a ticket giveaway to the Cannabis Cup in Denver.
The Cannabis Cup, sponsored by High Times magazine, is a two-day expo taking place today and Sunday featuring music, cultivation sessions and a marijuana analysis.
“It’s basically a competition for potency and quality of medical marijuana products,” Olson said.
Marijuana is tested using lab techniques on its potency while “marijuana connoisseurs” rate the products on taste and overall experience.
“We are representing Summit County with a booth and partaking in marijuana competition,” Williams said. “Hopefully, we will come back with some recognition.”
Dispensary owners said they’ve seen more organized events surrounding 4/20 this year. This is most likely in response to the approval of the Colorado Marijuana Legalization Amendment, or Amendment 64, on the Nov. 6, 2012, ballot. It legalized the use and possession of, at most, an ounce of marijuana for residents who are 21 or older.
“Colorado has always been a hub for marijuana. It’s more accepted here than in other states,” said Williams.
“We are a progressive state. We aren’t conservative and we aren’t stuck in old ways,” he said. “We don’t mind change.”
The dispensary owners said there will probably be a larger-than-normal influx of tourists for the weekend as well.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend a 4/20 Rally at Civic Center Park in Denver today and tomorrow.
“There will be a lot of people migrating into the state to celebrate,” Olson said.
In addition to the organized events around the state, Olson said he expects 4/20 to be “the free-for-all it’s always been.”
Local law enforcement officials warn that although the consumption of marijuana is legal in the state of Colorado, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything goes.
“The big reminder is that public consumption is still against the law,” said Greg Morrison, assistant police chief in Breckenridge.
Anyone who consumes marijuana in public could be issued a ticket.
The local law enforcement officer also warned against mixing substances with recreational activities on the mountain.
“On the safety side – marijuana, alcohol and skiing don’t mix,” Morrison said. “And it’s against the skier safety act,” he warned.