Sat February 2, 2013

CU Boulder Joins Pearl Street With Smoking Ban

Standard sign in the U.S. to indicate no smoking
Credit Creative Commons

A new campus wide smoking ban will keep the air, and CU's reputation cleaner.

This will be the first full week of a campus wide smoking ban at the University of Colorado. Administrators say it will be enforced through education and self-policing, rather than tickets for the first six months.

Next fall however, anyone caught smoking -any substance- on campus is liable to get a ticket.

CU administrators say they have a responsibility to "promote a healthy campus and to support and improve the health and wellness of our students, faculty and staff," according to their website.

Sophomore Aaron Jerkins, a political science major and smoker doesn't buy it.

"This [smoking ban] is because of 4/20. They just want to be able to slap tickets on people," Jerkins said.

For more than 20 years the University of Colorado has been the focal point for the unofficial pot smoking holiday known as 4/20 – which is this April 20th at 4:20 pm- until last year.

Just days before President Obama's first campaign visit, CU administrators announced a crackdown on the 4/20 event. Fish fertilizer was spread over Norlin Quad where the event usually took place, while law enforcement officers patrolled entrances to campus, asking people for identification before allowing entry to the campus.

CU's efforts to eradicate 4/20 inspired a small but vocal group of protesters who marched onto the campus.

University officials called the annual event a "distraction" and said they wanted to distance the university from it's party school reputation.

But Jerkins is more concerned about the fairness of the ban. 

"What about taxpayers? If someone wants to walk onto campus and smoke, away from other people, not bothering anyone, who cares?" Jerkins added.

Eileen Garcia, a Freshman at CU says she's relieved. "It's about time. I don't want to walk through smoke on my way to class...and I don't want my degree to be associated with a bunch of pot heads," Garcia said.

"They should spend the money they'd spend on enforcing this ban on something worth while, like hiring more teachers," Jerkins said.