Denver pro-marijuana marchers in a huff over ticketing
The Denver Post
Vail, CO Colorado
Clad in marijuana-themed T-shirts and waving pro-pot signs, about 75 marchers hit Denver streets Saturday for the Global Marijuana March, but when officers ticketed two protesters for consumption some marchers got mad.
“I’m angry and disappointed with the Police Department,” said Miguel Lopez, event co-organizer. He called the tickets hypocritical, saying police took a more permissive response to smokers at the 420 “smoke-in” held at Civic Center on April 20.
As officers singled out a woman for consumption, about two dozen marchers stopped, shouting angrily at them. One marcher used a bullhorn to spread his message, “Denver police are breaking the law.”
Several more patrol cars rushed to the area, creating a wall of officers between the shouting crowd and the detained marcher. The scene was repeated moments later as police ticketed a second person. As one officer wrote the ticket, a half dozen others encouraged the crowd to continue marching, ignoring the taunts.
“They’re passionate about their issue, and we understand that,” said Sgt. Dennis Beden-Bender.
The rally then continued peacefully, ending at the Capitol. One attendee and supporter of medical marijuana, Walter Rayburn, said he didn’t come to break the law or shout at police and he was disappointed others did.
“To me this is about medicine and helping the state make money,” Rayburn said. “This is what makes people think, ‘stupid stoners.’ “
Heather McWilliams: 303-954-1698 or firstname.lastname@example.org