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Monday February 6th 2023

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CU Cracks Down on 4/20


photo by Bonnie Martin

Fish—not the typical smell you associate with the counterculture marijuana holiday known as 4/20—yet, when walking through Norlin Quad today, the usual epicenter of Boulder’s 4/20, that was the predominant scent.  Fish-based fertilizer was one of many tools the University of Colorado’s administration used to deter 4/20 celebrations and illegal marijuana use on campus today.

photo by Bonnie Martin

As early as 8:00am CUPD, Boulder PD, and Campus Security were surrounding CU’s campus directing traffic and taping off Norlin Quad. Notices were posted stating that illegal activity or trespassing on the quad would result in criminal prosecution. Police and security guards circled the campus, allowing only students and faculty with Buff Cards to enter. Students who had forgotten or lost their ID cards were turned away and not able to attend class

Another way CU attempted to keep students off of Norlin Quad was by sponsoring a free concert at the Coors Event Center. Wyclef Jean, a rapper and ironically a major supporter of legalizing marijuana, was the headliner. Several hundred students attended the concert, and no one was allowed into Coors Event Center after 4:00pm.

photo by Bonnie Martin

Of course, students and protesters found an outlet. Hundreds joined a march through campus carrying signs that read things like “Occupy 4/20” and “God Hates Cops.” The crowd of about 300 stopped outside of the Duane Physics building to light up at 4:20 p.m. The crowd dwindled until the last of the protestors yelled, “Now, let’s march to get munchies!”

photo by Morgan Meyer

Meanwhile, several hundred students milled about the perimeter of Norlin quad. Some carried signs, most just looked like they were waiting for something to happen. One student began yelling, “This is for our rights!” and took off running through the police tape and onto the quad. He was pursued by several cops and escorted away with handcuffs while the crowd cheered him on.

It’s estimated that police and security measures were doubled this year, as well as the budget. Last year, CU spent $55,000 handling the event and the cleanup. A total of 3 students were arrested today for trespassing on the quad. One $100 fine for smoking pot was given.

Despite doubts, CU’s new security measures were able take 4/20 off of Norlin Quad this year. This did, however, create as much or more of a disruption and inconvenience for students and faculty. The illegal activities CU administration wanted to deter still took place on campus—just in a different location and on a smaller scale.

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