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    Posted April 20, 2014 by

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    Feeling Uneasy at Denver's 420 Rally


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     TheJeremyNix was at Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado, on April 19 to photograph a 420 rally in the area. But he says the amount of police and the threatening signs around the park made him feel uneasy. One of the signs read “Marijuana laws enforced.” He says in Colorado consuming marijuana in public is still illegal. ‘I think the sign is a warning and a reminder that if you decide to toke up in the park, then you will be subject to tickets and fines,’ he said. 'I just felt slightly uneasy about the presence of the private security officers with weapons. I know it is a necessary evil, especially since last year's event had a shooting, but those security guys make me nervous,’ he explained.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    My first impression of Denver's 420 rally left me feeling like a person trapped in a cage. The entirety of Civic Center Park was surrounded by fences with security checkpoints on each corner. I walked through with just me camera and was very loosely frisked.

    While walking within the confines of the fence, it didn't feel so much like a celebration. It was more like that feeling of being watched. The Denver Police Department and the Park Rangers were present, but what I found disconcerting was the high number of private security guards armed with pistols walking amongst the crowd. I saw a lot of guns today.

    The deep bass droned, the air was filled with marijuana, and I had cotton mouth after about 5 minutes of being there. The music being played had that ominous tone to it as well, the tough guy music, the kind of music that makes you aggressive.

    It's meant to be a counter-culture event, but it is completely controlled by the authorities. The riot fences surrounding the stages, the heavy security presence and the intricate network of cameras covering every inch of the park say have your fun, but do so at your own risk.

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