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Similar to a grandfather recounting war stories to his grandchildren, my CU elders sat me down for a history lesson of sorts.
“Thick plumes of smoke filled the sky. The gray mass swallowed the city whole, and it could be seen from miles away,” they said.
(CU Independent Illustration/Josh Shettler)
My eyes widened.
“The ground was complete pandemonium. Cops swarmed the streets. There were crowds of people everywhere. It was pure chaos,” they added.
I shook my head in astonishment as I tried to imagine myself in the midst of this infamous day — so infamous that all it takes is the utterance of the date itself to conjure a reaction.
4/20 is fast approaching, and from what I’ve heard from CU students that have already witnessed the pot-filled event, it is comparable to the grounds of a psychedelic war scene. Due to marijuana’s earthen origins, I suppose, in that case, it would be most appropriate to deem 4/20 Boulder’s annual natural disaster.
Since I’ve never actually seen the occasion for myself, all I have to form my own opinions on the matter are the reactions of those around me. Thus, when I received an email from the university alerting me that surrounding streets would be closed, police checkpoints would be set up around campus, anyone found without their Buff One cards could be subject to a ticket for trespassing and the campus would be closed to any outside visitors, I accordingly came to the conclusion that this day would yield apocalyptic results.
This email scared me so much so that I contemplated hunkering down in my storm shelter to escape any mayhem that might ensue. I calmed myself down by realizing that the day would probably just consist of a lot of kids smoking weed which really isn’t that catastrophic unless you work at a nearby McDonald’s or Taco Bell.
The mandate of closing the campus to the public is seemingly intended to keep non-CU students from lighting up in what is supposed to be an academic environment. I imagine that this will be a large reduction in size to the event since I’m told that a good portion of participants are aging hippies who use 4/20 as a throwback to their Woodstock days.
While I am impressed at CU’s Orwellian attempts at controlling the 4/20 situation, I think it’s necessary to remind them that the hippies are a resilient group of people. They survived the 1970s; they will figure out a way to survive this as well.
Perhaps I am wrong, and the hippies will stay away. Maybe the majority of students will go to the Wyclef Jean concert being offered at the Coors Event Center instead.
This diversion is an interesting one because if I were trying to deter students from getting high, I would probably not choose a reggae artist whose first group’s debut album is entitled “Blunted on Reality” to perform in my school’s event center.
However, I think I understand the administration’s approach.
Much like Regina George’s mom from Mean Girls, they’re not trying to be a “regular” administration; they’re the “cool” administration. It seems to me that they would much rather cram as many pot-smoking students as they can into one contained, out-of-sight area to babysit them. Embodying Mrs. George’s philosophy that if her daughter is going to drink, she would prefer she does it in the house, the CU administration is corralling its students into a confined space with the assumed hope that if they can’t stop them from smoking, they can at least prevent the neighbors from seeing.
No matter your take on the 4/20 debacle, you can’t deny an inkling of curiosity as to how the newly-placed sanctions on the day will carry out.
As for me, I’ll be stocking up on food, water, batteries and sound-proof headphones to block out any trace of Wyclef Jean because when this natural disaster hits, I plan on being prepared.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Lizzy Hernandez at Elizabeth.email@example.com.
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