Boulder to Crackdown on 4/20 Celebration, Hand Out Fines and Tickets


If you’re a student or attendee at Boulder’s renowned 4/20 festivity, you need to watch your smoke–cause puffing the devil’s lettuce in Boulder on 4/20 could  come with a $100 fine.

The University of Colorado at Boulder proclaimed today that this year’s 4/20 celebration will be on a way tighter leash than past events. Spokesman for the university claim that the unsanctioned event has ballooned into an out-of-control, dangerous mob scene. And one that must be massaged deterred with authority!

It’s easy to see why the school’s deans want to tone down the celebration. School officials are clearly not proud that Playboy named Boulder as the nation’s top party school. Nor do they like their quad becoming a Spring Break like destination for stoners. And most importantly, it’s putting a (very minor) dent into the university’s annual fund.

Campus officials have complained that amid tough economic times, the event costs the school $50,000 annually — with expenses that include contracting with event staff to close off parking and make sure revelers aren’t wandering into classrooms, and hiring extra police officers.

“This imposition on the campus significantly disrupts the university’s operations – including teaching, learning and research. It threatens the health and safety of our employees, imposes logistical challenges and expenses, and unfairly taints the reputation of CU-Boulder and the dedicated faculty, staff, students and alumni who are a part of this great institution,” DiStefano said.

CU-Boulder spokesman Bronson Hilliard said the university isn’t taking a stance on marijuana legalization and its primary concern is how large the gathering has become.
“I wouldn’t want 10,000 people blowing bubbles at the center of campus. Are we thrilled they’re smoking marijuana? No. But the issue of marijuana is secondary. The issue is the crowd has gotten way too big.”
Hilliard said the event makes it difficult for people to get to classes and the crowds and noise causes a disruption for CU’s classrooms and research labs. [Denver Post]

Yep, the University of Colorado would prefer its students get blacked out and riot rather than smoke a pacifying drug, singing kumbaya, and practicing yoga on the quad.

A Kentucky basketball fan man just had his freaking leg amputated because of the mayhem induced by alcohol use in Lexington. The scene in Lexington was even deemed a “war dystopia”–and if you look at the photos, it’s a valid description.

Colorado should be proud that it is home to the nation’s largest, PEACEFUL smoke session. Instead, they’re trying to nip it in the bud.

Worst of all, it will literally come at the expense of students who pay thousands of dollars a year for the privilege to attend Boulder.

While there are clearly some valid reasons cited for the crackdown, stating that it’s “not about weed” is not one of them. And let’s be real–$50,000 is one out-of-state student’s tuition. The school could also easily make that money back on concession sales throughout the day.

The legitimate problem with Boulder’s 4/20 celebration is that many non-CU students flock to the quad and the quad transforms into an overwhelming crowd for a campus quad. The event is not just a campus celebration–it’s an event that people flock even from out of state to attend. Thus, it’s understandable why the university would like to curb the event’s enthusiasm a bit.

That said, it’s hard to ascertain how a bunch of stoners peacefully smoking weed and spreading TLC impose a physical threat to teachers and employees of the university. Whether Boulder likes it or not, smoking weed on a college campus will happen–threat or no threat of authority imposed. Particularly when your campus is located in one of the capital’s of medical marijuana.

It’s indeed a cunning ploy by Boulder officials. Threatening frugal college students with a fine and bringing in Wyclef Jean for an alternate celebration are indeed clever tricks. The likely outcome? This announcement and attention bring even more people to Boulder’s campus on 4/20 and the chances of the crowd becoming hostile just escalated by about 10,000 times.

Ironic, right? And sad.

Cause you know what an easy solution would have been? Respect the fact that 4/20 is somewhat of a holiday, and just cancel classes on that day. As is, Half of your campus will have greener pastures than class in their sights.

If you’re a student at the university or live in Boulder, will the threat of this fine deter you from blazing out the quad on 4/20?

[youtube] Image via Flickr

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  1. There’s a major flaw in your comments! You mentioned “Threatening frugal college students with a fine” If they’re so frugal, how are they affording the pot?

  2. Are they cracking down on anyone drinking at this celebration too? If there were to be any problems that police were needed for it would not be anyone just smoking pot. Even though that is what the majority of the people will be doing I believe the ones that will cause trouble if any will be anyone drinking. Not that I’m against drinking. Just stating a fact

  3. I can see how the growing crowd could become something of a safety hazard, but if the school would just embrace the celebration and partition off a section of campus in which the students can party, say a parking lot, they could better contain the supposed “mob”. Besides, I seriously doubt that anyone has been severely injured, let alone killed at any of these events. And like you said, they could turn this into a huge money making opportunity if they sold concessions like they do at football games. A hot dog stand in the middle of this crowd? I smell a millionaire in the making.

    • the quad is the largest opening in boulder and if it were only 10,000 people they would have fit easily last year. it was peaceful because people walked in and got high and walked away.. everyone brings what they need and no one fights over anything.

  4. I keep hearing people say 10,000. fact is that’s not even remotely close. if the problem is hiring extra security/cops then maybe they ought to make it a real event before something really goes wrong.. If they could get 10,000 people to come into town for any other event they would be happy for the flux of money.. but bring in 30,000+ people who don’t cause problems or pay for parking and all of a sudden the cops feel threatened.

    • Barry Bluntman on

      so you’re saying its more like 30,000 people? I figured the 10k number was too low, given that Boulder has way more students than that…

      • 30,000 is a low number. there were at least that many that I could see but there were people standing shoulder to shoulder pouring out of the plaza not to mention all the people who got high on their couch and forgot to head over. the truth is the cops handed out tons of tickets last year and I imagine they couldn’t do much more without inciting a riot or something along those lines. once the plaza gets full enough they have no way to even enter the wall of people with any hope of backup. So they threatened. But they can’t bring themselves to say that it was under control with cops there or not.

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