Pro-marijuana activists have filed a lawsuit in a Boulder, Colo. district court in response to the University of Colorado Boulder’s plans to close its campus to outsiders without a prearranged appointment on Friday. April 20, they say, is “pot day.”
The activists hope to have a ruling by Friday, preferably before 4:20 p.m.
“4/20” has regularly been celebrated in the university’s Norlin Quad with a pot smoke-out accompanied with a demonstration that the Denver Post reports has drawn 10,000 people in past years.
The Boulder City Council has already sided with the university in a 7-2 vote, upholding the ban on students gathering on campus.
“[S]ubstance abuse and highly publicized events that promote illegal activities have challenged [CU’s] academic reputation,” the council declared, “and the well-being of the student body, as well as the larger Boulder community.”
CU officials claim the closure is to protect students on campus who are not participating in the event, and to limit distractions to professors in the classroom.
The activists, many of whom are not CU students, alleged in their lawsuit that closing a college campus to shut down a single protest “is without legal support or precedent.”
Boulder Deputy Police Chief Greg Testa said his department will be assisting campus police and will be available in case the event moves off campus.
“If you’re asking me if there’s going to be a riot, I can’t answer that, but I don’t believe there will be a riot,” he said.
While the dope-smoking protest will not be allowed, the university did grant permission for a protest Friday by the school’s chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy.
CU Boulder is also planning to use a foul-smelling fish-based fertilizer on the grounds of the Quad to deter protesters from gathering there.