Although recreational marijuana use has been legalized in Colorado, the University of Colorado Boulder announced today that it would be shutting down the campus again this year on 4/20 to avoid the annual Boulder smokeout. Last year CU-Boulder shut down the campus to outside visitors and smothered the school's quad with nasty, vile-smelling fish fertilizer so that it's literally "uninhabitable." This year, there won't be fish fertilizer, but the quad will still be closed.
In a statement, CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano offered the following justification for this year's campus lockdown: “We are committed to ending the unwelcome 4/20 gathering on the CU-Boulder campus, and this year’s approach represents the continuance of a multi-year plan to achieve that end. What’s important here is the protection of CU’s missions of research, teaching and service. This isn’t about marijuana or drug laws. It’s about not disrupting the important work of a world-class university.”
More from the school's official press release:
Stefano noted that the passage of Amendment 64 by Colorado voters last year does not make marijuana legal on the CU-Boulder campus. Amendment 64 doesn’t legalize pot smoking in public or possession of marijuana by those under 21. Marijuana is still prohibited by campus policy.
Last year, the university’s closure to non-affiliates on April 20 resulted in the reduction of a 4/20 crowd of about 10,000 to 12,000 people in 2011 to a crowd of several hundred. A Boulder judge upheld the university’s right to take reasonable steps to avoid disruption of the university’s missions of teaching, research and service.
This year on Saturday, April 20, CU-Boulder’s normal academic and cultural activities will continue as scheduled, but the following measures will be in place:
Students, faculty and staff are all welcome on campus and invited to attend all official university functions and make use of university facilities as they always do.
Students, faculty and staff will be asked to present their Buff OneCard IDs at campus entrances and other areas.
Consistent with last year’s protocol, law enforcement officers will politely and professionally engage those wishing to enter the campus to ascertain if they are affiliates or approved visitors. This will involve checking Buff OneCards for students, faculty and staff and credentials for registered visitors.
Those unaffiliated with CU-Boulder, or who are not approved visitors, will not be permitted on campus. Those who trespass risk citations, which can mean punishment of up to six months in jail and a $750 fine.
Law enforcement, including the Colorado State Patrol, will conduct additional enforcement on highways surrounding Boulder, looking for drivers under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
Meanwhile, marijuana activists in Colorado are pissed. RIP, Boulder smokeout.