Sat April 19, 2014

Non-CU Students Banned From Campus On 4/20, Alternatives Planned

Boulder's 4/20 rally has attracted thousands annually over the past two decades.
Credit Jonathan Reyes / Flickr - Creative Commons

For the third year in a row, only students and staff will be allowed on the main campus at the University of Colorado-Boulder. The move is in favor of deterring the mass consumption of pot on what has become known as 420 - or April 20 as it's found on the calendar.

Thousands of protestors have converged annually before the ban on CU's Norlin Quad to smoke marijuana since 1991 in favor of legalization. From 12p.m. to 6p.m., entrances to the campus will require a student I.D.

Despite the passage of Amendment 64, where pot can be legally bought and sold, university officials are continuing the closure as a deterrence to openly smoking pot on campus. Shortly after marijuana was legalized in Colorado, CU President Bruce D. Benson announced that the possession and use of the drug on campus would be prohibited. Students face suspension if caught with the drug on university grounds.

The decision to close the campus to non-students was reached after discussions with student government. Chris Schaefbauer, CUSG's president of student affairs, emphasized that the passage of Amendment 64 will lead to a continuing debate on drug policies, but that debates should be confined to a different place.

“That should take place in a thoughtful, academic setting – not among thousands of disruptive people on the Norlin Quad,” said Schaefbauer in a CU press release.

Boulder will largely be void of any pro-marijuana rallies. In contrast, Denver’s 420 rally at Civic Center Park will continue. Police say they will focus on keeping the peace over issuing citations for smoking in public.

While many Boulderites may head to Denver as an alternative, students in eight counties are planning events to rival 420 with a different, marijuana-free message. Sponsored by Healthy and Drug Free Colorado, those events will range from live music, to games and volunteer efforts.