An amazing 420 celebration takes place at the University of Colorado. It centers on Norlin Quad, the centerpiece of campus. This year the authorities on campus decided the event was not to be. But a 420 rally is political speech, so how could it be shut down? That pesky first amendment and all. CU officials did the following: closed the campus Friday to outsiders, students and staff had to show school identification to be allowed in; made Norlin Quad off limits to everyone; and the student government staged a free concert by Wyclef Jean across campus from the Quad. The university even sprayed a malodorous fish-based fertilizer on the green space where Quad attendees would expect to gather.
The crowd for the event this year stayed small — several hundred participants and onlookers — instead of the 10,000 or more who have joined in the event in the past, smothering the area with the wonderful aroma of marijuana. “It’s funny they thought they could try to stop us,” said CU student Audrey Campbell, who helped organize the protest but said she didn’t light up at 4:20 p.m. “They could be stopping crime right now,” said CU student Daniel Schwartz, another protest organizer, as he looked at several dozen police officers who stood by while protesters toked. “But instead they’re watching us. What a waste of money.”
Money? CU spent $250,000 on the effort. I’m sure CU can recoup those funds as “activity fees” from students. You know they will.
In that the crowd was smaller CU authorities choose to believe the measures worked for most of the day. The only people to venture onto the malodorous lawn were three who were arrested for trespass, as they staged a sit-in on the grass. But shortly before 4 p.m., a crowd of several hundred pro-4/20 activists, both students and non-students, marched onto the forbidden campus. Police did not try to stop them except to prohibit the group from entering the quad. After a couple of tense minutes, the protesters turned around and walked to the field near Duane Physics. Where they . . . hey, it’s 4/20.
For a deeper look into this story visit The Denver Post.
[image: google images University of Colorado logo]
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