The Fourth of July is all about sun, fun, and freedom - and , there's no better time to both celebrate the progress we've made when it comes to legalizing marijuana. Here's a roundup of some activities planned for the Independence Day in three of the legal states. If all goes well in November, next year's list could be even longer.
Roller coaster at the Elitch Gardens Theme Park in Denver, Colorado.shutterstock.com
While you still can't smoke cannabis in public in Colorado, The Speak Easy Vape Lounge (2508 E. Bijou St., Colorado Springs) is one of the few cannabis clubs in the state that allows you to bring your own glass, dab rig, or vape (or borrow one of theirs) and get high. This year, the Speak Easy is also holding Freedumb Fest Party, featuring pinatas filled with marijuana, DJs, and a BBQ: later, grab a lawn chair and head to the free show at the Denver City and County Building with performances by MIX, acapella group CU, the Hazel Miller Band, and the Denver Municipal Band. Or, if you're looking for something a little more high-energy, pay the $34.99 admission at Elitch Gardens, spend the day on rides at the 70-acre downtown amusement ark, and take in the fireworks starting at dusk.
2. Washington, D.C.
Lafeyette Park, Washington, D.C.shutterstock.com
Part of Washington's appeal is its rich political history - and what better way to mark Independence Day than checking out America's longest-standing pro-legalization rally? The Smoke-In in Lafayette Park, on the north side of the White House, has been taking place for 47 consecutive years: created by the Hippies of Woodstock, Dana Beal, and the Yippies! the goal is to celebrate free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press and freedom of expression (while also getting high, of course). Live tunes from Dupont Brass, The Originators, The Unfortunate Sons with Ron Holloway, and Da D.R.O., plus speakers including Denver legalization advocate and community activist Miguel Lopez. You can also become part of the "Free DC Marching Band": bring a musical instrument such as a drum, horn, saxophone or other acoustic musical instrument, and rock out in the name of getting the federal government to reschedule marijuana.
View of Portland Oregon, USA from Pittock Mansion during a Fireworks Showshutterstock.com
Oregon, clearly, loves cannabis: between 1999 and 2005, the number of Oregonians using cannabis outpaced the general United States population by 32–45 percent, and in 2014, legalized recreational cannabis use and cultivation with Measure 91. In addition to being a super-hip cultural and restaurant mecca, Portland is the place to be for July 4: fireworks: your choices include the massive display in downtown Portland, another just down the Willamette River at Oaks Amusement Park, across the river at Fort Vancouver, or out at Hood River. The Waterfront Blues Festival will be particularly bumpin' this year: four days of music, dancing and festivities, all culminating on Monday the 4th: this year's headliners include Curtis Salgado and The Record Company.
Banner Image: Young people celebrate at night (shutterstock.com).