For second year, CU-Boulder to restrict access on April 20

Campus will close to unauthorized visitors, non-affiliates
By Staff

The University of Colorado Boulder on Monday announced it will be open to students, faculty and staff on Saturday, April 20, but for the second straight year will be closed to unauthorized non-affiliates.

“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,” said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “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.”

DiStefano 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 whether 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.
  • Visitors who have official business, meetings or other officially sanctioned activities on the CU-Boulder campus will need to obtain a visitors’ pass by visiting the following link and filling out the form at Forms for visitors must be completed and submitted to CU-Boulder by 10 p.m. Sunday, April 14.
    Affiliates are encouraged to use alternative methods of transportation to get to and from campus. Bus routes that normally travel through core campus on 18th Street and Colorado Avenue – including the HOP and Buff Bus – will be detoured down Regent Drive. Please see for additional information.
  • All campus performances and events are on as scheduled for the evening of April 20 and the campus is expected to be fully open again at 6 p.m.

CU-Boulder officials this year agreed with CU student leaders on several new measures and adaptations in closing the campus:

  • Officers will carry and distribute information cards explaining the university’s security actions and protocols for the day and providing a contact point for reporting concerns about the day’s procedures or police conduct.
  • The university will not place any fish fertilizer on the Norlin Quad.
  • The Student Government will not host a concert this year on 4/20 in an effort to save student funds and in response to student feedback.

Funding for the campus security measures comes from insurance rebates to the campus, not from tuition or student fees. As a reminder, per campus policies and the federal Drug Free Schools and Communities Act with which the university must comply, marijuana is not permitted on the campus.

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