By Mekialaya White

DENVER (CBS4) – Organizers are gearing up for the world’s largest 420 Festival, which takes place on Wednesday in Denver’s Civic Center Park. All ages are allowed at the event. Ahead of the day, some youth advocates are calling for stricter age limits.

They believe attendees should be adults 21 or older.

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At 5280 High School on Tuesday morning, teens spoke about their life experiences involving marijuana. The school provides education and resources for recovering addicts.

“Because I took those substances out of my mind and out of my body, my life has gotten a lot better. I have a life I never could’ve imagined now,” Savannah Crowder told CBS4’s Mekialaya White. “They have easier access to substances if they didn’t have it before… people go to 420 to sell those substances.”

Crowder says she knows the implications of being exposed to marijuana at a young age, and that it took her to a dark place.

“What would you say to someone who says marijuana is not a gateway drug?” asked White.

“I would say that they’re completely wrong due to my experience. I guarantee if I had not started with marijuana, I would’ve not gone to the place I was at. I got introduced to people who sold marijuana, then acid and harder and harder drugs,” said Crowder.

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Kate Ziegler started smoking pot when she was 12.

“I was so young that it spiraled into something that I thought I needed because I hadn’t known anything else. My first concert was at Red Rocks, and I had substances handed to me. No one had a single question about how old I was, if I wanted it, they would just tell me here – take it, this is for you,” said Ziegler.

“I’m angry that someone would let this happen. These are young kids who have a full life ahead of them and they’re getting exposed to explicit things,” Crowder added.

Mekialaya White