Easter grass? Colorado businesses push pot parties tied to Easter Sunday

Colorado’s marijuana tourism businesses are marking Christianity’s highest holy day with a low-class approach to drawing tourism dollars: Attracting thousands of marijuana users to the state with “World Cannabis Week” events that culminate with a 420 rally Easter Sunday.

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Photo: A T-shirt on sale on eBay marks the unofficial “420” cannabis holiday falling on the same day as Easter.

For those who don’t know, “420” is a slang term for marijuana. So while Christians mark Easter Sunday by celebrating the promise of eternal life, others are celebrating Easter Sunday’s date of April 20 for the “promise” of an eternal buzz.

And the more worldly-minded in Colorado are taking advantage of the state’s legalization of marijuana to turn a buck on the calendar coincidence, according to an International Business Times report, “Marijuana tourism kicks into high gear in Colorado over 420 ‘holiday.’”

According to the report:

Interest in hotel bookings in Colorado, as a whole, increased by 78 percent from April 18 to April 20 and by 7 percent overall for the first quarter of 2014. Whether these bumps have anything to do with marijuana remains somewhat speculative, but the high numbers suggest that the Centennial State will indeed see hordes of visitors this coming weekend.

There’s nothing inherently wrong, really, with marijuana aficionados celebrating on the same Sunday as the high point of the Christian calendar. It’s not their fault that the Council of Nicea’s decree that Easter fall on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox also happens to be the 20th day of the fourth month of the Gregorian calendar this year.

But it’s still unseemly – particularly since past “420” celebrations haven’t exactly been church picnics.

In Denver, according to the IB Times, “last year’s rally ended in chaos after a shooting left three injured and dozens more running for safety.”

Organizers say this year is going to be different.

It will look “less like doing something wrong while your parents look the other way, and more like a celebration of how grass roots organizing can effect change,” they told the IB Times.

Five years after the triumph of that “hope and change” business, that doesn’t sound reassuring.

Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at [email protected].

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