Last Friday was 4/20, a holiday of sorts in Boulder to smoke weed and protest it’s legalization. In past years more than 10,000 people have flocked to CU, specifically Norlin Quad, from all around the country.
CU Facilities Management applies fish emulsion fertilizer on Norlin Quad the morning of 4/20 as a CUPD vehicle sits in the background. This year, CU administration cracked down on the annual event which has traditionally brought 10,000 visitors to campus. (CU Independent/Robert R. Denton)
This year, CU administration cracked down and closed campus, event though we are a public university, creating all sorts of First Amendment questions.
Essentially, they said that if you’re not a student or staff member you can be prosecuted for trespassing if you come on to campus, and that no one, not even students, were allowed on Norlin. Additionally, all media were required to register and apply for media passes, I believe about 70 passes were distributed.
This decision stood up in court when some Boulder locals sued the school for access to campus.
To enforce the crackdown, CU brought in police officers from surrounding counties to check ID’s as people entered campus and put down an awful smelling fish fertilizer on Norlin in addition to the CUPD officers stationed around campus and on the fish covered field.
As a student journalist I felt it was my responsibility to cover this day as fully as possible, and to push content in near real time.
Sophomore physics major Daniel Ellis Schwartz leads the crowd in chants near Norlin Quad. The protesters decided to move to the Duane Physics field shortly after. (CU Independent/Robert R. Denton)
This led me to the realization that I must get up prior to 4:20 a.m. to check the Quad for students smoking that morning because of the crackdown later that day. So I set off long before the sun rose to cover 4/20 from 4:20 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. and this is what I came up with…
In addition to those photos, a colleague of mine came up with the great idea to map where officers were checking for ID’s. That led to me riding my old Schwinn around campus a few times taking note of where officers were stationed. Take a look here
And, of course, what kind of an editor would I be if I didn’t get my staff’s work out as quickly as possible. So, I stayed up until 12:30 a.m. putting together a more diverse gallery of photos from all eight staff members of the CUI photog team. See that here.
The CU Independent has much more 4/20 related content so if you would like to see more click here.