University of Colorado Administration funded safety officers to enforce a closed campus and keep the once-expected pack of marijuana smokers away from Norlin Quad on Saturday, and it worked.
For the second consecutive year, CU Police Department officers and Argus security staff asked for Buff OneCards at checkpoints around the perimeter of campus and blocked the quad with yellow tape. Two citations were issued to CU students for marijuana-related offenses and no arrests were made Saturday.
Last year, campus administrators laid fish fertilizer on Norlin Quad on April 20 to deter students from convening on the field. Police were ready to ticket pot smokers and warned that anyone who attempted would face a $100 fine. The university limited parking to create difficulty to attend the event and partnered with the Colorado State Patrol to hunt for under-the-influence drivers on U.S. 36 and Highway 93.
CU Student Government spent about $150,000 in 2012 to stage the free 4/20 concert as an alternative to smoking. The event featured Wyclef Jean, who mentioned marijuana in a song on stage, violating his contract.
Despite the efforts to shut down the smoke-out in 2012, 300 students gathered around the Duane Physics building to light up. According to the university, about 400 watched.
“I had friends that were there (in 2012), and they said that they smoked and police officers did not do anything,” said Tyler Spreng, a 20-year-old sophomore psychology and speech language and hearing sciences double major.
In addition to summons, three people were arrested for trespassing on April 20, 2012, and all three were CU students. On Saturday, two citations were given outside Baker Hall for marijuana consumption.
Much of the traffic that may have traveled to Boulder in the past was diverted to Denver. Tens of thousands gathered at Civic Center Park for a massive marijuana smoke-out before two people were shot in the leg and a third was grazed by a bullet at about 5 p.m., according to Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson. Crowds scattered, but no one was killed and investigators do not know the cause of the shooting. The Denver Police Department Gang Unit has taken over the investigation.
Nick Ortiz, a 19-year-old freshman economics major, witnessed the mayhem at the park after the shots were fired. He and three friends made it to the heart of the marijuana-smoking mob before the incident. They made it out of the park unharmed.
“You should have seen all the high people run away after gun shots were fired,” Ortiz said. “It was crazy.”
Even though Amendment 64 has legalized small-scale possession and recreational use of marijuana, it is still not legal to smoke pot in public in the state of Colorado.
Check out the rest of our 4/20 coverage here.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writers Gabriel Larsen-Santos and May Elliot at Gabriel.firstname.lastname@example.org and Marylynn.email@example.com.