CU Boulder Spent $108K to Block Annual 4/20 Smoke Out

BOULDER, CO — The University of Colorado spent $107,794 to block the annual April 20 smoke out from the school’s campus, according to a statement issued by the school Thursday.  That amount is nearly $17,000 less than the school spent to block the gathering in 2012.

According to administration officials, the school spent the money to prevent “disruptions of research, teaching and basic university business resulting from the previous unsanctioned gatherings related to 4/20,” although advocates point that any “disruption” would have been minimal this year, with April 20 falling on a Saturday.

The unofficial annual campus event, featuring speakers and lots of pot-smoking, had drawn thousands of attendees in recent years, including around 10,000 in 2011.

Over the years, university administrators have tried various means to suppress the event, but  successfully barred non-students from entering the campus to join in the festivities last year, and prohibited the gathering altogether in 2013.

“We remain determined to permanently end the 4/20 gathering on the CU-Boulder campus,” CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano said Thursday.

Costs for this year’s 4/20 campus closure were as follows:

  • $70,850 for CU police/security/dispatcher/parking overtime and labor costs for officers from outside agencies;
  • $9,881 for Argus security staff assisting with police/parking operations;
  • $4,431 for Fire Department/ambulance coverage;
  • $12,025 on miscellaneous expenses, including equipment, supplies, operations facility rental, printing, and food and water for personnel;
  • $5,016 for parking equipment/rentals, such as cones, barricades and variable message signs noting the campus closure; and
  • $5,591 for overtime labor costs in facilities management (groundskeeping, locksmiths and other facilities employees).

“While this is not money we are eager to spend, we have to ask ourselves what the costs are to us for having our work disrupted or having a student or bystander injured because we allowed the gathering on the campus,” DiStefano said.

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 marijuana smoking in public or possession of marijuana by those under 21, and is still prohibited by campus drug policies.

CU Boulder Spent $108K to Block Annual 4/20 Smoke Out was written by and appears in full on The Daily Chronic.

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