In Denver, three people were shot and wounded at what should have been a peaceful rally celebrating the first legal 4/20. The tens of thousands of people that congregated in Denver’s Civic Center Saturday afternoon were not behaving violently. Instead, it was the actions of what is believed to be two suspects that are now speaking for the behaviors of Coloradans. The behaviors of two such people do not and should not represent the whole of the pot-smoking populace, nor of the citizens of Colorado.
While violent crimes like this may paint a negative image of pot smokers and Colorado as a whole, we must remember that 4/20 celebrations are done in and for peace. There is no correlation between violent acts and the celebrations of 4/20 in Colorado, or anywhere else. While the possession and use of marijuana is still a federal offense, the possibility of it one day becoming legal is still a debate that is ongoing.
Unfortunately, critics of legalized marijuana are going to be pointing to this incident as a prime example of why it should never be legal. What all of us, regardless of your opinion on the issue, need to make sure people understand is that the actions of a very small number of people are never representative of the whole. That needs to be made clear, because otherwise the debate will only tailspin around a point that is ultimately irrelevant.
What a buzz kill for Colorado’s cannabis coming-out party.