For the first time in years, it will be business as usual on the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus on April 20.
And definitely no massive crowd of people toking up at 4:20 p.m. on Norlin Quad, CU officials hope.
Campus administrators believe they have permanently snuffed the once-annual pot gathering, which at its peak drew some 10,000 people to the Norlin lawn and landed CU at the top of Playboy’s party school list.
After four years of some form of campus closure on April 20, CU is not planning to do anything this year.
Campus spokesman Ryan Huff said there will be a “police presence” at CU that day, and said the campus is prepared for “a variety of scenarios.”
“But to most people, it will look like a normal day on campus,” he said. “We do not anticipate any problems.”
CU began its crackdown on the chaotic ganja gatherings in 2012 by closing the entire campus to visitors, citing concerns about safety and the cost of managing the large crowd. That practice continued in 2013 and 2014.
Last year, the campus was open to visitors with the exception of Norlin Quad, which was shut down for the afternoon. A large number of officers patrolled that area and crews hung police tape to keep people out.
Students walked by the quad with quizzical looks on their faces — many CU underclassmen were in middle and high school when 4/20 was at its peak.
“We are very pleased with the progress we have made in recent years to eliminate this gathering that was disruptive to the academic mission of the campus,” Huff said.
Chancellor Phil DiStefano explained in a newsletter last year that people seem to understand that the campus is serious about eliminating 4/20.
He also pointed out that there were several sanctioned, pot-centric events for people to attend throughout the Denver metro area.
That’s true this year, too. Snoop Dogg and other artists will take the stage at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre during the third annual Merry Jane Wellness Retreat, for example.
On campus next Wednesday, students can learn and talk about marijuana during the third annual Cannabis Symposium, hosted by Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Cultural Events Board.
The “non-consumption event” is being held in the University Memorial Center’s Glenn Miller Ballroom and features several speakers, panels and discussions led by student groups, according to event’s website.
CU police Chief Melissa Zak will deliver the opening plenary address for the symposium.
The campus has been supportive of the cannabis teach-in since its beginnings in 2014.
“While we are pleased to see these disruptive gatherings go away, we are at the same time very supportive of the academic discussions on drug laws occurring on our campus,” Huff said.
4/20 at CU-Boulder
What: Cannabis Symposium at the University of Colorado
When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Glenn Miller Ballroom, University Memorial Center, CU campus, Boulder
Cost: Free, open to the public