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Denver's 4/20 event banned, organizers plan appeal

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Mayor Michael Hancock - FILE PHOTOQ
  • File photoq
  • Mayor Michael Hancock

Civic Center Park in Denver was left in disrepair after this year's 4/20 rally. In response, Mayor Michael Hancock, who publicly opposed the legalization of marijuana, ordered a top-to-bottom review of the event.

In a statement, he called the event's unfolding "deeply disappointing and discouraging" and noted that "City officials will review [the] events' trash management, public safety and security policies along with other relevant event impacts to ensure the protection of our community as well as Denver's parks and open spaces."

Now, the review is done and its results are a bummer. The city found multiple violations, including four noise complaints, untimely trash removal, limited security guards, and unlicensed food vendors and street closures, according to the Denver Post. And the penalty is hefty: $12,155 in damages and fines and — here's the kicker — event organizers are banned from pulling another permit for three years.

Event organizers dispute the city's findings. General counsel for the event, Rob Corry, took issue with the criticism that the park wasn't cleaned up quick enough, given their event permit allowed for cleanup to stretch into the next day. "I think we'll be able to show ... the city's motivation is to silence the message (of the event)," he told the Post, adding he intends to file an appeal within the allotted 15 days.


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