420 On the Block, “The Mile High Block Party,” goes down, appropriately, April 20-22 at Denver, CO’s Fox Street Compound. The musical lineup for the weekend includes Action Bronson, Matisyahu, Washed Out, Evidence and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, among others, but as the festival’s name suggests, its real focus is weed. With early bird 3-day GA passes going for $42 and The Green Solution, which purports to be “the first eCannabis website” listed as a partner, 420 On the Block doesn’t exactly go to lengths to hide their true purpose. Nor should they: Colorado’s marijuana laws allow for people 21 years of age and older to buy weed from licensed retail stores, possess a certain amount of weed, and consume it on private property where it isn’t otherwise banned. However, while 420 On the Block may call itself a “mile high block party,” the organizers don’t want you to get high while you’re there – according to the festival’s info page, “no public consumption of cannabis products allowed on festival grounds.”
The same conundrum is present at Coachella, where, despite California’s new status as a legal marijuana state, weed still isn’t allowed on the grounds. “Sorry bro,” Coachella’s FAQ reads. “Marijuana or marijuana products aren’t allowed inside the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Even in 2018 and beyond. If that changes we will update this answer.” According to the Los Angeles Daily News, lawyers in Colorado have been dealing with this question since legalization in 2012, including a situation they describe from the Colorado Symphony Orchestra:
The Colorado Symphony Orchestra thought allowing patrons to smoke marijuana at its performances would increase ticket sales. So it created a cannabis-themed concert series. Problem was, the Denver city attorney said the concert venue was a public place even though a ticket was required and wanted the symphony to cancel.
Symphony officials were able to strike a deal with the city attorney, however, to stage the concerts by making them invitation-only, rather than open to ticket buyers.
Marijuana remains illegal in New York State, but recently elected NJ governor Phil Murphy has vowed to prioritize legalization in the garden state. All of this, of course, could be for nothing if Attorney General Jeff Sessions has his way. Early this year, Sessions rescinded an Obama-era directive that discouraged enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states where it had otherwise been made legal.