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Crowds to gather in Colo. to celebrate 420, push for marijuana legalization

Crowds to gather in Colo. to celebrate 420, push for marijuana legalization
SAFED, ISRAEL - MARCH 07: (ISRAEL OUT) Packed cannabis at the growing facility of the Tikun Olam company on March 7, 2011 near the northern city of Safed, Israel. In conjunction with Israel's Health Ministry, Tikon Olam are currently distributing cannabis for medicinal purposes to over 1800 people in Israel. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images) Getty Images

(CBS/AP) DENVER - 420, 4:20 or 4/20 is used by many to denote smoking marijuana, and pot smokers from Denver to Boulder are gathering today, April 20, to say "Happy 420" and call for the drug's legalization.

The festivities in Denver include a daylong rally in Civic Center Park. Tens of thousands are expected to gather in the downtown park at the annual concert, smoke-off and legalization rally.

Hackey sack, while not an official event at the gathering, seems likely to take place.

Organizers hope Denver's celebration of the drug is even bigger this year because it comes on the eve of a major national pot conference in Denver.

This year's event comes the day before the annual convention of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, a prominent legalization group marking 40 years. This weekend's conference is drawing most Denver mayoral candidates and Colorado's Rep. Jared Polis, a Democrat who favors legalization.

Marijuana gatherings are also planned in Boulder, Colorado Springs and other cities.

But before anyone considers doing anything illegal today, perhaps they should consider this.

In a poll conducted in 2010 by the Associated Press and CNBC, 55 percent of Americans oppose legalizing marijuana and only 33 percent support it. Those numbers flip flopped for people under 30 with 54 percent in favor of legalizing the drug and 39 percent against.

Support for medical marijuana was widespread, the poll found. Sixty percent were in favor of medical marijuana and 74 percent believe the drug has a medical benefit. Fourteen states already permit medical marijuana. South Dakota will vote on the issue this fall.

The AP-CNBC poll was conducted April 7-12 and involved interviews.

Crimesider wants to know what you think America. Should marijuana be legal?

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