Western Slope eschews ‘420’ orgy of cannabis

Events to celebrate April 20, or “420” as a day and a time to smoke marijuana and to protest marijuana laws, played out Wednesday on the Front Range but fizzled on the Western Slope.

The Grand Valley’s only medical marijuana center, Colorado Alternative Health Care, 125 Peach Ave. in Palisade, did not mark the day with an event.

“420 is a recreational holiday,” said an employee who answered the phone there. “We are a medicinal clinic. We are not representing recreational (marijuana) use.”

As of early Wednesday afternoon about 3,500 people had gathered at the University of Colorado in Boulder for the annual nonsanctioned, campus smoke-out, according to the Boulder Daily Camera. Thousands more showed their love for marijuana, filling the air with a smoky haze while lighting joints at a rally in Denver’s Civic Park.

Like the coupon-based website Groupon.com, which offers daily coupons to scores of deal seekers, a new website, mmjdailydeals.com, launched Wednesday for medical marijuana deals in the Colorado Springs area.

The website’s founder, John Molinare, said in a news release that the coupon website will boost the area’s small businesses by providing “affordable medication.” The new website was offering donations of $4.20 each purchase to help victims of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami through a campaign called Joints for Japan.

Deals on Wednesday included $15 for 5 grams of top strain medical marijuana through a Denver dispensary.

Medical marijuana centers in Grand Junction were banned by voters earlier this month, forcing their closure. Voters previously denied the centers in Mesa County. However, Palisade officials allowed one medical marijuana dispensary to set up shop, Colorado Alternative Health Care, before instituting a moratorium.

According to Snopes.com, which investigates rumors and urban legends, “420” is a drug reference about the time to light up a joint. Its origins stem from a group of a dozen high school students in Southern California in 1971 who met at 4:20 p.m. as the time to meet and smoke weed. “420” became their slang as a reminder to meet.

The term “420” is not a police radio code for marijuana smokers, nor is it the number of compounds in marijuana, according to Snopes.com.


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