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Police deny permit requests from Albuquerque 4/20 festival

April 18, 2022 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Organizers of an Albuquerque festival for 4/20, the date known for celebrating marijuana, have had two permits denied by local police.

The 420 Fest, scheduled for Wednesday in downtown Albuquerque, had submitted permit requests for streets to be blocked off.

Melissa Thompson, New Mexico 420 Fest organizer, told KOB-TV that she and her team have been communicating with the city about this since June.

Police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said the request was rejected because the department doesn’t have the manpower to block off streets in the middle of the work week. Officers already have to shut down roads in the same area at night because of traffic around the bars.

The 420 Fest has been an ongoing event for six years but was shelved during the pandemic. Thompson says thousands of people are expected to show up.

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While recreational marijuana is now permitted, attendees won’t be able to buy or consume any because they’ll be out in public.

This month New Mexico joined 17 other states that have legalized recreation marijuana without significant legal challenges.

The change came 15 years after the state first began offering medical marijuana.