DENVER (CBS4) – The annual 4/20 marijuana rally is this weekend in Denver and one city councilman is worried not only about that “grass,” but also the grass in Civic Center Park.
A lot of melting snow combined with a lot of people could make for a big mess in the park this weekend, and the permit issued to organizers didn’t require a damage deposit.
With marijuana now legal in Colorado, this year’s event is expected to be the largest ever.
“We’re bracing for 75,000, 80,000 people,” organizer Miguel Lopez said.
The event is billed as the largest marijuana celebration in the world.
“That park doesn’t just belong to pot heads,” Denver city councilman Charlie Brown said.
Brown is worried because the city just completed a $9 million renovation of the park and didn’t collect any damage deposit for this weekend.
PHOTO GALLERY: 4/20/12 At Civic Center Park
“You know, they’re concerned about weed, I’m concerned about turf,” Brown said. “They could walk away after trashing that park, especially when it’s muddy, wet; this could be a disaster.”
“We’ve been such a criticized event we usually go to greater lengths to make sure the park is a lot more cleaner than other events,” Lopez said.
Lopez says if it was a problem the city would stop giving him permits. Brown says it should anyway.
“I just wish we would get out of this business of issuing permits for illegal activity,” Brown said. “This group can go find a private field and they can rent it and pay for everything as they should.”
Lopez suggests that would be a mistake.
“If they want a melee, people could probably perhaps continue to trash the park and other things, and that would just not be appropriate, and that’s not what we want to happen,” Lopez said.
Mayor Michael Hancock doesn’t either. His office says they weigh the risks and benefits of citing petty crimes and inciting a large crowd. It says the city is legally bound to issue permits based on an application, not the activity that actually takes place.