Apr 15, 2014 6:42 PM by Tony Spehar
A marijuana store in Pueblo West is planning a 4/20 celebration they estimate will bring at least 2,000 people to the area this weekend, some business owners are skeptical about just how many people will show up.
The annual pot celebration brings crowds of thousands upon thousands to Denver, Rick Hooper at Nature's Remedy is hoping for a smaller but similar turn-out this Sunday.
"Business is great, we're doing fantastic, we get new people in all the time," Hooper described. "We get a lot of people from out of state and we're expecting a lot of people this weekend from out of state."
Pueblo West has become the center of recreational pot shops in Southern Colorado. Hooper is hoping locals will opt to celebrate 4/20 there instead of heading to Denver and if they do he thinks it will be very beneficial to the Pueblo County economy. His shop has been giving away cash and other items at 4:20 every day of the week.
"We have volunteers coming out, we're expecting anywhere from a couple thousand to maybe 10,000 people," he explained. "We're going to have music, we're going to have people teaching art glass blowing so you can actually learn how to blow a pipe."
Some business owners around Hooper's shop aren't optimistic that people will come out in the thousands.
"Nobody knows," said Tim Guidry at Cat's Pourhouse.
Guidry doesn't allow any marijuana use on his property, though he voted for legalization. He said his restaurant hadn't seen a noticeable boost in business from customers flocking to nearby pot shops. In his opinion it isn't likely the 4/20 celebration will bring a very large crowd, but if it does he hopes he'll see some profits.
"Everybody's more than welcome to come and eat and drink as long as they play by the rules that we've set out," he explained.
Responsibility is something Rick Hooper hopes to see as well if his estimates of the potential turn out are correct.
"People need to be responsible when they come out, we'd like to see designated drivers," he said.
The Pueblo County Sheriff's Office told News 5 they don't plan on increasing enforcement over the weekend, they plan to keep to their routine patrols.