Last year’s rally was cut short by a shooting that wounded three. All attendees this year had to pass through security screening, and a heavy police presence ringed the park.
“I still feel a little like a teenager,” Garramone said as he eyed police patrolling the park.
Just as striking was the proliferation of merchandise, from cannabis-related gear and T-shirts to $9 roast turkey legs and $4 water bottles.
“I can just imagine how much money is being made right now,” said Tina Crockett, 34, of Wichita.
The commercialism disappointed Bob Glisson, 27, who was attending his fourth 4/20 celebration in the park.
“It’s all about the money now,” the Denver resident complained.
Still, the scene was wonderfully surreal for Bud Long, 49, from Kalamazoo, Mich., who recalled taking part in his first 4/20 protest in 1984.
“Nationwide, it’ll be decriminalized,” he predicted on Saturday, the first day of the two-day festival, “and we’ll be doing this in every state.”
Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.