Dos and Don’ts for Staying Safe and Legal
Denver is all abuzz in April. This year, we’ve got high wattage sunshine in the forecast and some of the most anticipated 4/20 celebrations in the world.
Thanks to Colorado’s first-of-their kind recreational marijuana laws, the Mile High City earns its middle name among local enthusiasts and visiting tokers alike. On 4/20 — the unofficial weed holiday — Denver’s cannabis culture lights up in celebration.
As a 4/20 ground zero, the city’s task is to set an example for others opening their arms to recreational weed. Let’s get this right, Denver. Don’t be ‘that guy’ that gets events shut down and invites a Federal crackdown. Here are a few suggestions for keeping your 4/20 festivities safe, legal, and incident-free.
Don’t: Hot box your car … and then drive it.
Flying and driving don’t mix. In Colorado, citations for drugged driving are based on observed impairment, or if drivers are tested with five or more nanograms of THC per milliliter in their blood. Don’t risk it. Penalties also apply for having open containers or evidence of consumption in your vehicle. And nobody likes event parking. Just leave the car at home.
Do: Get on the (free) party bus.
Luckily, Denver’s got all sorts of other ways to get from A to B. Take the light rail. Walk. Unicycle. Segway. Uber/Lyft. Or keep an eye out for the party buses. World Cannabis Week’s free mobile smoking lounges will be shuttling revelers along the stops of the 420 On The Block festival, as well as between dispensaries on Saturday and Sunday.
Don’t: Smoke openly in parks or streets.
Contrary to what your nose may suggest, it is illegal to consume marijuana in public places, both indoor and outdoor in Denver. Don’t be that dreadlocked guy with the lit joint at the park who is about to get tagged on Colorado Big Game Trophy Wook Hunters. He smells bad.
Do: Keep it private.
So where to smoke? The city has plenty of private parts. Homes and backyards are private. Party buses and shuttles are private. Events like the 420 Bazaar are private and equipped with designated outdoor consumption tents.
Don’t: Bake your own high-powered brownies.
Baking with cannabis for the first time this 4/20? Easy on the bud. Novice cooks tend to go overboard with THC content in their kitchen creation. Second rookie mistake: not waiting long enough for the effects and eating the whole pan of brownies. Couch lock from super-strong edibles is real, and it includes many shades of regret.
Do: Take a cannabis cooking class.
Decarboxylization. Calculating milligrams of THC per serving. How to use infused butter in pretty much everything. These are just a few crispy nuggets of wisdom you’ll learn from the pros at a Cooking with Cannabis Class at Stir Cooking School. Get hands-on and minds-up in the kitchen this year, just in time for 4/20.
Don’t: Pee in public.
Foul but true. Downtown Denver has a public urination problem. Crowds of people flocking to the city center for the 4/20 rally and non-stop festivities doesn’t help the situation. Whatever stern signage, persnickety shopkeepers and locked doors you encounter, don’t resort to letting it flow behind a bush outside. It’s prohibited, and an “indecent exposure” ticket would totally harsh your mellow.
Do: Stall until you find a stall.
Denver is addressing its public restroom shortage downtown. Check out the mobile stalls that have launched as a new pilot project. Or, stick to private events in spaces with their own facilities. At World Cannabis Week, Dixie Elixirs will be sponsoring a “restroom makeover” at Cluster Studios. Worth a wait in line.
Don’t: Sell or trade bud.
Your homegrown strain is amazing, we know. But don’t let your gifting, sharing and bartering enter the legally hazy zone. Rampant trading of bud got people in trouble in the past at Denver’s Cannabis Cup — which wasn’t invited back this year.
Do: Take a tour of a marijuana grow operation.
Take your home grow skills to the next level by learning some tricks from a large-scale commercial grow operation. On a grow op tour, riders hear from growmasters about what keeps their plants healthy and vibrant, emerging from the tour with thumbs even greener.
Don’t: Get high and stay home on the couch.
Home may be the easiest private place to smoke, but don’t surrender to couch lock and paranoia. Instead, feel the FOMO on all the parties, concerts, festivals, and 4/20 events going on — not just on Thursday April 20th but throughout the entire week. Hang up on Domino’s pizza delivery and get out the door.
Do: Play for prizes at a weed-centric citywide scavenger hunt.
Nerf darts. Corn Hole. Ring toss. Putting green. If these sound like ideas dreamed up by dispensaries and a 420 tour company, it’s because they are. Finalists of the infused 420 Challenge will compete for prizes like cash, swag, and dispensary store credit. Get your score card and go for the gold.