No 4/20 Rally at CU-Boulder; Annual Marijuana Celebration “Unwelcome”



By Thomas H. Clarke
The Daily Chronic
March 12, 2013

The annual campus event, featuring speakers and lots of pot-smoking, has drawn thousands of attendees in recent years, including around 10,000 in 2011.

Over the years, university administrators have tried various means to suppress the event, but last year successfully barred non-students from entering the campus to join in the festivities.

“We are committed to ending the unwelcome 4/20 gathering on the CU-Boulder campus, and this year’s approach represents the continuance of a multi-year plan to achieve that end,” said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano in a statement.

“This isn’t about marijuana or drug laws. It’s about not disrupting the important work of a world-class university,” DiStefano added, although the unofficial stoner holiday falls on a Saturday, leading to minimal potential disruptions.

DiStefano noted that the passage of Amendment 64 by Colorado voters last year does not make marijuana legal on the CU-Boulder campus. Amendment 64 doesn’t legalize marijuana smoking in public or possession of marijuana by those under 21, and is still prohibited by campus drug policies.

Last year, the university’s closure on April 20 resulted in the reduction of a 4/20 crowd of about 10,000 to 12,000 people in 2011 to a crowd of only about several hundred.

The school announced that the following measures will be in place on April 20, 2013:

  • Students, faculty and staff are all welcome on campus, but will be asked to present identification to law enforcement officers stationed at campus entrances and other areas.
  • Those unaffiliated with CU-Boulder, or who are not approved visitors, will not be allowed on campus.  Tresspassers risk citations, which can mean punishment of up to six months in jail and a $750 fine.
  • Law enforcement, including the Colorado State Patrol, will conduct additional enforcement on highways surrounding Boulder, looking for drivers under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to use alternative methods of transportation to get to and from campus. Bus routes that normally travel through core campus on 18th Street and Colorado Avenue – including the HOP and Buff Bus – will be detoured down Regent Drive.
  • All campus performances and events are on as scheduled for the evening of April 20 and the campus is expected to be fully open again at 6 p.m.

CU-Boulder officials this year agreed with CU student leaders on several new measures and adaptations in closing the campus:

  • Officers will carry and distribute information cards explaining the university’s security actions and protocols for the day and providing a contact point for reporting concerns about the day’s procedures or police conduct.
  • The university will not place any fish fertilizer on the Norlin Quad.
  • The Student Government will not host a concert this year on 4/20 in an effort to save student funds and in response to student feedback.

Funding for the campus security measures comes from insurance rebates to the campus, not from tuition or student fees.

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