4/20 came and went. In years prior to 2012, thousands of people, mostly non-students, would gather on Norlin Quad and exercise their right to protest freely. This year, no one gathered. Campus was quiet even for a Saturday.
The majority of campus activity was conducted by law enforcement. Road closures, check points and caution tape made sure students would be deterred from smoking anywhere on campus. Those not affiliated with CU would not be permitted on campus, and according to a news release from March 11, those caught trespassing could receive citations resulting in a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $750 fine.
Was anyone even trying?
According to a release by Ryan Huff, CUPD spokesperson, “Two CU students did receive petty offense summons related to public consumption of marijuana around 4:30 p.m. near Baker Hall.”
However, such an act is hardly uncommon for any college campus, let alone CU, and most likely would have gone unnoticed if it weren’t for such a large police presence already there.
At a press conference held Saturday, Bronson Hilliard, CU Spokesman, claimed that the measures taken to end the 4/20 tradition on campus were not about the image of the university.
“What’s important here is the protection of CU’s missions of research, teaching and service,” Hilliard said. “This isn’t about marijuana or drug laws. It’s about not disrupting the important work of a world-class university.”
Though a claim to protect the work of the university was made, much of which has to do with research, the physics building was closed to all due to it being used by the large police force. Michael Klear, a 21-year-old senior physics major, couldn’t get into the building to do his work.
“The building was completely closed to everyone,” Klear said. “No one from the physics department could even use it. It seemed kind of unnecessary.”
Seth Medina, a 21-year-old junior media studies major, expressed that he didn’t want to be anywhere around campus during the closure.
“[It’s] too much of a hassle to deal with campus [on] Saturday,” Medina said. “I even chose to avoid The Hill when I went to get food,”
However, not all students were troubled by the measures taken by CU to stop the 4/20 gathering. Jarad Kopciak, a 22-year-old senior film major, avoided campus simply because it was a Saturday.
“I stayed away from campus because I always do on Saturday,” Kopciak said. “I didn’t really care what was going on, I never planned on being on campus. 4/20 or not, I’m smoking at home.”
Compared to 2012, in terms of summonses and arrests, 2013 was a success. In 2012, 11 summonses were issued for trespassing, one summons for possession of under two ounces, as well as three arrests. CUPD said that it was a quiet day, though it’s clear with such a large police presence this year they didn’t think it would be enough to deter a gathering for 2013.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Nick Stollings at Nicholas.firstname.lastname@example.org.