Going to the Mile High City was the perfect 65th birthday present for Karen Stevenson. She and her husband drove out of the Bible Belt to experience, for the first time, what it’s like to buy and smoke weed legally.
She wore a T-shirt featuring an image of María Sabina, a late-Mexican shaman, puffing on a joint — a shirt that, until this day, she never dared to wear outside her Cape Girardeau, Missouri, home.
“It’s kind of like being a part of history,”
she said Saturday, while waiting for a bus in front of a marijuana-themed sandwich shop. “I used to want to go to Amsterdam. Now I don’t have to.”
The Origin of the Term 420
The Stevensons are among the tens of thousands of visitors — by some estimates 80,000 — who’ve come to Denver to mark 420 (April 20), a date that’s emerged as a holiday among those steeped in cannabis culture.
Weed and a Tale of Two Cities.
Though the date has long been observed in Colorado, this is the first celebration since recreational sales of marijuana on New Year’s Day. (Recreational use became legal in late 2012.)
Replete with the Denver “420 Rally” in Civic Center Park, the High Times Cannabis Cup — an expo and a competition sponsored by the magazine — and a 420 concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre headlined by Snoop Dogg, the weekend has drawn the trappings one might expect. Dreadlocks. Tie-dye. T-shirts brandishing phrases like “Cheech & Chong for President.”
Those predictable, or stereotypical, images, however, only tell part of the story.
They don’t speak for the white-haired Mississippi man who looked like he’d walked out of a law firm on casual Friday. They don’t reflect what drew a Crohn’s disease patient from Missouri. Nor do they represent three older Texas women, one with her nails perfectly manicured in hot pink and her hair done just so, who advocate on behalf of seniors and are working to reform marijuana laws.
Author: Jessica Ravitz
For those of you who are interested in attending the 2015 Denver 420 Fest, click the link… Denver420Fest2015