CU-Boulder Campus Wants To Ban Annual 4/20 Event


4/20 at 4:20 on the Norlin Quad at the CU-Boulder campus. Now tight-assed university officials want to take away the best thing about the damn place.

Thousands of people celebrate 4/20 every year on Colorado University-Boulder’s campus, and this year was no exception. But this year, CU-Boulder officials are complaining about the claimed $50,000 cost of providing security for the “non-sanctioned” event. CU regent Michael Carrigan is even talking about taking “whatever steps are necessary so that the protest doesn’t occur on our property” anymore.

Carrigan pointed out that the university “gets very little state funding,” and tries to put as much of its money as possible toward educating students, reports Michael Roberts at Denver Westword. “And unfortunately, quite a few outsiders have decided to make us the site for their battle on an unrelated social issue.”
But, as Westword notes, it’s kind of disingenuous of Carrigan to call the 4/20 participants “outsiders” when most coverage last week counted thousands of CU students among the revelers. Thousands more, though, come from beyond campus, at least according to Carrigan.

Photo: Denver Westword
Michael Carrigan, CU-Boulder: “This expense is an outrageous waste of money”

​”What was reported to me this year, in particular, was the great prevalence of pre-college-age individuals — high school and even junior high school-age students,” Carrigan said. The crowd, estimated at 10,000, “is half the undergraduate student body in Boulder,” according to Carrigan. “So I can say with great confidence that the crowd was not even majority CU students.”
“This expense is an outrageous waste of money,” Carrigan said.
“It’s frustrating that we have to take time out of our day for this,” whined Frank Bruno, vice chancellor for administration at CU, reports Brittany Anas at the Boulder Daily Camera. “It takes away from the academic mission of our institution.”
Boulder police wrote at least three driving-under-the-influence citations for marijuana on 4/20, including one in which a hapless 17-year-old reportedly crashed into a police cruiser. The purported concern over so many stoned drivers is “part of the reason why the university has spent the resources — to prevent this from becoming a public-safety hazard,” Carrigan claimed, which is where he’s getting that $50,000 figure.
CU has in the past already made clumsy, inept, intrusive and occasionally amusing attempts to throttle the 4/20 gathering. They’ve even taken videos and still photos of 4/20 attendees and then couraged people to identify them online. They’ve turned the sprinklers on at Farrand Field, the original 4/20 site, dousing and possibly delighting the stoned celebrants.
The university even demolished Farrand Field to put in a new stadium, a moved that hilariously backfired when the 4/20 celebration was pushed to the much larger Norlin Quad and attendance skyrocketed.
But Carrigan’s determined to be a buzzkill, and he wants to make it just too unpleasant for a 4/20 party to be held on the CU campus.
“Over time, you just make it more and more challenging for the protesters to come to our campus, and hopefully they’ll be encouraged to go somewhere else,” Carrigan said.
It’s not hard to imagine an unhealthy sparkle in the regent’s eye as he contemplates the various ways to ruin a stoner’s day. “There could be parking bans, sxtreet closures,” and “other obstacles to make the Boulder campus an inconvenient place for them to express their social issue,” he said.