Gunfire at marijuana festival in Denver injures 3

Someone went over there to steer the pot…


By Valerie RichardsonThe Washington Times

Sunday, April 21, 2013

DENVER — Three people were injured after gunfire pierced the smoky haze Saturday at the nation’s largest marijuana celebration here at Civic Center Park.

Two people, a man and a woman, were hit in their legs by bullets, and a third person, a juvenile, was grazed by a bullet at about 5 p.m. MDT during the annual 4/20 Day festival. None of the injuries was considered life-threatening, said a Denver police spokesman.

Police were searching for two suspects, but neither had been apprehended as of early Sunday.

Local television footage from helicopter cameras showed the enormous crowd surging away from the park’s Greek Theater stage and onto surrounding streets as gunshots were heard. Nobody was reported seriously injured in the chaos.

This year’s 4/20 Day celebration, a free-form cannabis jamboree held in pro-pot cities globally, was expected to be the biggest in state history after Colorado voters passed a marijuana legalization measure in November. Thousands of people from across the nation attended Saturday’s events, which included a marijuana-brewing contest, pot tours and a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

A second rally planned for Sunday was canceled by organizers in the aftermath of the shooting.

The outbreak of violence was the last thing the state’s marijuana advocates needed, given the precarious position of pot legalization in Colorado and Washington state. While legislatures in both states are proceeding with drawing up regulations for the legal cultivation and sale of marijuana, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has yet to say whether he will allow the states to bypass federal anti-drug laws.

Smart Colorado, an advocacy group opposing marijuana legalization, issued a statement hours before the shooting encouraging Coloradans to “pay attention to the 4/20 rallies.”

“These events, which will be covered by national media, will send a clear message to the rest of the nation and the world about what Colorado looks like in the wake of the passage of Amendment 64 last fall,” said Smart Colorado volunteer leader Henny Lasley.

© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC.




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