As most of you probably heard by now, I spent my 4/20 weekend in Denver, Colorado. It was an incredible weekend and I fully intended on going over to Colorado University because of the annual 4/20 celebration that takes place there and a few days before I heard the university planned on shutting it down. Because of that, I HAD to go. Here is what happened.
Before arriving I heard more details about the plans the university made to stop outsiders from visiting the campus for the event. They threatened any nonstudents with $750 trespassing tickets and even went so far as to put fish fertilizer down on the field of the north quad to deter visitors gathering at the normal 4/20 smoke field.
I was dropped off by my friend, who had to work nearby, in the perfect little spot. There was a coffee shop with wifi that allowed me to get some work done, several spots with food and available bicycle rentals. I rented a bike and had my backpack on (looking very much like a fellow student) and I rode up to the campus. On the way up I got directions from a group of students which lead right into a police checkpoint where student IDs were being checked.
I was a little nervous but I tried to blend in as I rode down a different path into the campus. It’s a good thing I did because not only did I avoid the checkpoint but I found the field that the smokers moved to to get away from the smell of dead fish.
The protest went on with a little less than 1,000 people who were mostly students. There were far less people than in previous years but the crowd that was there stood solidified and smoked at 4:20 while surrounded by police onlookers from all sides. Though I felt like I did a good job of disguising myself as a student I still had my bike in position to make a quick exit if it became necessary.
Fortunately there was no police disruption and I made it off the campus safely and ticketless. Wyclef’s brother showed up and because Wyclef had a show that was announced as an alternative place for students to celebrate people assumed it was him. That and the fact that they look very similar. He tried to make some announcements that were inaudible due to most of the crowd screaming Wyclef’s name. This turned out to be a humorous highlight of the experience.
I heard that a much larger crowd gathered in downtown Denver. Many of which would have been in Boulder if they were not scared off by the threats made.
Though I could have celebrated 4/20 in Denver with thousand more people I felt great to see that there was such a strong turnout of students who refused to let their freedoms of speech and assembly be denied by the very institute they are paying thousands of dollars to, for the purpose of learning and growth. I didn’t regret my decision to go to Boulder.
Below you can view another video of about the day and my gallery of iPhone 4s shots.
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