How to Celebrate 4/20 in Denver Without Being an Asshat

Published On 04/16/2015 Published On 04/16/2015

If you were not aware that 4/20 was a big deal in Denver, it’s possible you’ve been doing too much of that thing that makes 4/20 a big deal in Denver, because it should be obvious!

While there’s nothing wrong with taking a day to triumphantly celebrate our fair city’s enlightened laws, it’s not without potential downsides. Thousands of out-of-towners will be making the pilgrimage, and people who aren’t typically big smokers may also join in the fun. There’s no reason a good time can’t be had by all, if everyone follows these simple guidelines:

Don’t be all fidgety and weird about it

It’s been a while at this point. Start treating pot as a natural and normal thing Denverites may consume on occasion, like craft beer or Rocky Mountain oysters. It’s legal and way less weird than eating balls. Act like you’ve been there before.

Smoke everywhere... where its allowed

The laws surrounding where you can toke are not going to be lifted on 4/20, even when you might be. Yes, Civic Center Park is likely going to resemble a Phish Concert for the entire day, and that’s totally fine. But if you choose to say, take a stroll downtown, please ditch the joint. Let’s keep the air on the 16th St Mall smelling Rocky Mountain fresh. Fine, that ship has sailed, but still, know the rules.

Shutterstock/Tuomas Lehtinen

Treat your server with the same respect you would on any other day

You’re likely to build up a hunger that even the worldwide supply of Snickers cannot satisfy, so it’s likely you’ll decide to feast at one of Denver’s many fine local establishments at some point. Please keep it together enough so that your server isn’t waiting 15 minutes as you figure out whether to get three or four orders of wings... or waking you up from a tabletop catnap.

Mind the people who are actually working

If you’re on a self-appointed smoke-fueled holiday, that’s all well and good, but 4/20 is on a Monday this year, and some people have business to attend to. Please, no playing traffic cone in the middle of the street (getting hit by a car is the kind of pain that marijuana cannot solve) or getting lost in your thoughts on a busy sidewalk. Let the commuters mind their business and you mind yours.



Uber. Lyft. Taxis. Consensual piggyback rides. Good old-fashioned walking! These are all acceptable. Getting behind the wheel is not.

No fighting

It’s always a bad look, but especially on a day devoted to a substance that’s supposed to be all peace and love and Kumbaya and whatnot. That said, with crowds, sometimes you get problems. Don’t be one of the problems.


Keep it clean

Toss those roaches in the garbage. This should go without saying on a daily basis, but it becomes all the more critical when you have a massive crowd of people partaking. You don’t want to be like those Philistine cigarette-smokers, do you?

Make it eventful, but not TOO eventful

Look, a little overconsumption is probably inevitable on a day that celebrates any substance (stares daggers at St. Paddy’s day), but there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to keep it at "I’m having a good time" without escalating it to "I am ruining the good time of those around me." So have fun, celebrate, and be careful... you could be one brownie bite away from being immortalized on YouTube for all the wrong reasons.

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