CU, Students Clash Over 4/20 Event

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1min 30sec

CU-Boulder’s annual 4/20 marijuana smoke out is later today. The university is trying to crack down on the event this year, but Colorado Public Radio’s Ben Markus reports, activists and students are fighting back.

Here is a transcript of Ben's report:

Reporter Ben Markus: CU-Boulder law student Rachelle Yeung sits on a bench in the very quad where more than 10,000 students usually gather to smoke marijuana each year. She and others, are working to make sure this year’s smoke out is more protest than party.

Rachelle Yeung: We really wanted to send the message that, even though kids are just smoking pot, it’s obviously a sign that they think it should be legal, and so we’re going to try and make that message extremely explicit this year.

Reporter: CU-Boulder is taking measures to block an event that they say is a huge disruption to the campus. Bronson Hilliard, a CU-Boulder spokesperson and former student, doubts the claims that this is anything other than a celebration.

Bronson Hilliard: I remember a few years ago we had a pregnant woman write to the Chancellor and say, “I’m pregnant, and I’ve had to sit in my office and breathe marijuana smoke now for six hours. You know, this thing starts now at 10 in the morning, or 11 or 12, and it goes all the way to 5 o’clock.

Reporter: To try to prevent a big gathering, the university is putting fertilizer on the quad to make it smell like fish. It's also closing the campus to non-students. Attorney Rob Corey, a noted marijuana activist, filed a preliminary injunction against closing the campus yesterday. He says past 4/20 smoke outs were clearly protests.

Rob Corey: It’s a protest against marijuana prohibition and it’s also a rally in favor of marijuana.

Reporter: But after a four-hour hearing yesterday, a judge refused to block the campus closure.

[Photo: Chancey Bush/The Camera]