The 420 crackdown

Apr 222012
Authors: Bailey Constas

At 4:20 p.m. on April 20, a man ran across Norlin Quad on the CU-Boulder’s campus determined to challenge the fish fertilizer poured on the grass and the few dozen police officers surrounding the area.

Shortly after his first steps on the Quad, however, the man was tackled and arrested.

Because of a crackdown by university and Boulder police, this year’s 4/20 celebration didn’t have the usual thousands lighting up for the infamous pot-smoking holiday.

The university even put on a free concert by Wyclef Jean at 4:20 p.m. to distract from the traditional festivities.

Jacklynn Sanchez and Tanna Morin, seniors at Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, made the trip to Boulder this year to see if the 4/20 festivities would take place.

“I like Boulder, but it was really out of boredom to see if it really wasn’t going to happen,” Sanchez said.

“We talked to this guy who told us about lucid dreaming, he said we just needed to focus on a green door every night and when we see a green door we’ll know we’re dreaming,” Sanchez said.

The two girls also recalled seeing a man wearing a hat with marijuana leaves wrapped around it, dubbing himself a “pot head.”

A few hundred protesters marched along campus to promote the legalization of weed with police as witnesses, but these protesters weren’t bothered.

Walking down Pearl Street, a group of college-aged boys geared up in weed themed t-shirts and hats were determined to celebrate regardless of the restrictions.

“It’s bad for democracy, it’s supposed to be okay for protesting,” said Nathan Baltich, a senior marketing major at CU. “It’s prohibition of a different sort.”

Other students agreed with Baltich, saying people should be allowed to voice an opinion.

“I absolutely think marijuana should be legal, but I think the university has the right to protest,” said Derek Vandalet, a senior education major at CU. “The university has to do what it has to do to protect it’s image.”

“Everyone who went to 4/20 … they just go to party once a year and don’t care about doing anything to legalize it. If they want to legalize it, they should go talk to their congressmen or do something about it,” Vandalet said.

Kathleen Galt, who doesn’t consider herself a smoker, lived in Boulder for eight years before moving to Appalachia, Ohio –– where she lives now –– thinks that the celebrations in Boulder could be cashed in on.

“I think it should be legal but apply the same laws to pot as alcohol. Driving under the influence, just tax the heck out of it,” Galt said.

Galt has three daughters and mentions the challenges of educating them on marijuana use.

“I wouldn’t put a ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ on it. The minute you say ‘no,’ the more they want to do it,” Galt said. “I wasn’t a snoop, but the big criteria was that as long as they’re excellent students and doing their job, then I’m not going to snoop.”

Galt also discussed how pot has changed from when she was younger.

“Between the ages of 25 and 60, I’ve smoked maybe three times,” Galt said. “And I took one hit and pot is like acid now, it’s so different.”

“If you are a smoker or drinker you need to be really careful, be responsible and know your limits,” Galt said.

Collegian writer Bailey Constas can be reached at

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