Hearing officer considers Denver 4/20 organizer’s appeal regarding 3-year ban

Whether the man behind Denver’s recent 4/20 rally will get another go at the marijuana-centric event will soon rest in the hands of an administrative hearing officer.

Event organizer Miguel Lopez on Tuesday appealed the three-year ban imposed against him by the city, which alleged that the April 20, 2017 event he spearheaded in Denver’s Civic Center Park incurred violations relating to aspects such as security, trash and unlicensed food vendors.

Robert J. Corry Jr., Lopez’s attorney, argued that his client met the terms of his permit agreement and that the city’s three-year ban was “overreach.”

Corry also claimed Tuesday that city officials had changed their position that the event violated noise ordinances. City attorneys said Tuesday that noise was not one of the cited violations.

“The city is shifting the target here for us to respond to,” Corry said.

At the hearing, which was expected to last all day, city parks employees testified about observations such as trash overflowing from bins, trash strewn across Civic Center Park the following morning, and festival attendees pushing over chain link fences to enter the event,

Renee Carmody, senior assistant city attorney for Denver, reiterated the 29 “substantial violations” lodged against Lopez and workers at the event. Those included two counts of trash violations, eight counts related to unlicensed food vendors, one count of failing to comply with a security plan, three counts of not complying with the public works street occupancy permit, and 15 other counts related to permittee workers.

“You only need five,” for a three-year ban, Carmody said.

Hearing Officer David Ramirez is expected to issue a ruling within 30 days.

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