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'Stay At Home': Coronavirus Cancels Annual 4/20 Celebration In Denver

DENVER (CBS4) -- Monday is 4/20, but the annual festival to celebrate all things marijuana has been cancelled because of the coronavirus. Law enforcement and organizations such as MADD are asking people to stay home this year.

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Denver's Civic Center Park, where the Mile High 420 Festival was planned to take place, is fenced off this year. The founder of the 4/20 event combined efforts with Denver's Chief of Police to put out a video, asking people to stay home this year.

"We understand that you may want to celebrate some form of independence but we are not independent from this virus that does not discriminate," said Miguel Lopez, founder of the Denver 420 rally.

"If you want to celebrate we ask that you find alternatives to coming downtown and celebrating," said Chief Paul Pazen, with the Denver Police Department.

RELATED: No Plans To Reschedule Mile High 420 Festival

Every year, Mothers Against Drunk Driving team up with the Colorado State Patrol to spread a safety campaign about the dangers of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and having a safe ride home surrounding the unofficial cannabis holiday. This year however, the message is a little different.

"We thought, you know, the best thing to do is just join in with a public health messaging from the governor and say you know what, stay at home if you're able to," explained Fran Lanzer, the State Executive Director of MADD. "You don't need to be going out partying. Everybody should be staying at home."

Troopers say they are still seeing DUI accidents and arrests on our roadways, despite the fact that people should be staying home. Troopers will be out on Monday, looking for impaired drivers.

The hope is on 4/20, people who choose to celebrate, will do so responsibly during the pandemic.

"There is never an excuse to drive impaired, but this weekend especially, there is no reason we should have even one impaired caused injury or fatal crash," explained Chief Col. Matthew Packard, with Colorado State Patrol, in their campaign video posted online.

Lanzer said the goal is to have zero DUI arrests, zero DUI crashes, and zero COVID-19 community spread. They're encouraging those who choose to celebrate to do so safely, without getting behind the wheel and putting others at risk.

"We really want everyone to do their part, do your part for our communities and keep our road safe," he said.

The Law Firm of Bachus & Schanker, Uber and Native Roots also join MADD Colorado in asking everyone do their part to save lives on our roads and in our communities.

MADD not only works to spread awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence, but has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors. If you or someone you know needs assistance after a crash, you can get help through the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP.

RELATED: Latest Updates On The Coronavirus Outbreak In Colorado


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