3 Injured on Annual 4/20 Rally

Asia Madison, Writer

3 people were injured at the annual 4/20 rally held in Denver’s Civic Center Park on Saturday. A man and a woman were shot, and a bullet grazed a teenager standing nearby. 4/20 is a counterculture holiday where people celebrate smoking marijuana. Thousands of people gathered in the city park to celebrate 4/20 this year. It was supposed to be a peaceful, happy celebration, but a little before 5 p.m., this event went from peaceful to absolutely violent.


            Attendees say that about 4 to five shots were fired while Rapper, Lil Flip, was performing. Some of the people there thought firecrackers may have been set off, but they saw a man fall to the ground bleeding and realized that there was actually someone shooting instead. There was also a woman who was shot. The teenager who was grazed by a bullet did not suffer any major injuries and was treated at a local hospital. None of the 3 suffered any life threatening injuries.


            This year’s rally was expected to have an attendance of about 80,000 people because of the recent laws passed making marijuana legal for recreational use in Colorado and Washington. Despite these laws, public consumption of marijuana is still considered illegal in these places. People from as far as Atlantic City, New Jersey came out to celebrate and rally with complete strangers while smoking marijuana and promoting the legalization of the drug.

Police on horses and motorcycles monitored the event, but were more focused on controlling the crowd after the recent tragedy in Boston than they were focused on arresting the people for smoking marijuana. Last summer, a police officer was shot dead at this same park in Denver after a shooting broke out during a jazz festival.


According to Sonny Jackson, Denver Police spokesman, they were initially looking for 2 suspects in the shooting. Suspect one was a black male standing at about 6 ft and weighing around 180 pounds who was wearing a gray hoodie and a North Carolina hat during the shooting. The second suspect was also a black male who was wearing a brown and white-checkered shirt. The second suspect voluntarily came in and spoke with detectives on Monday. He apparently cleared things up because he was released the same day.


Denver police are still investigating the shooting. They are asking for any photos or videos of footage during the shooting from people who attended this event. Could this pro-marijuana legalization event turned violent actually put a damper on the campaign to legalize marijuana?