Thousands Celebrate 420, Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado

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Like St. Patrick’s Day in Boston or New Year’s Eve in New York City, April 20 seems to have a found an epicenter in Denver.


With the Colorado state capitol building visible in the background, party-goers dance to live music and smoke pot on the first of two days at the annual 4/20 marijuana festival.  (Credit: Associated Press)

The annual global celebration of marijuana drew tens of thousands of people this weekend to festivals in Denver, the capital of the first U.S. state to make the drug available for recreational use to anyone 21 and older.

The annual celebration has fallen on April 20, or 4/20, because a group of rebellious California teenagers in the 1970s supposedly decided to meet up at 4:20 p.m. each day after school to smoke marijuana. The legend spread, and the date and time become synonymous with the push to celebrate the mood-altering green plant.

Although marijuana now can be bought as easily as alcohol in Colorado, public consumption of marijuana products remains illegal. Denver officials were unwilling to waive that prohibition this weekend.

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