Pot Smokers Stage Annual Rally at CU

Pot Smokers Stage Annual Rally at CU
Posted by CN Staff on April 21, 2005 at 08:14:05 PT
By John C. Ensslin, Rocky Mountain News
Source: Rocky Mountain News 
Boulder -- An annual pot-smoking rally on the University of Colorado campus Wednesday was all smoke and showers. First, CU officials unleashed the sprinkler system, dousing the hundreds of students who had ignored orders to stay off Farrand Field. Doused but undeterred, several dozen in the heart of the crowd lit up their marijuana cigarettes, creating a small white cloud above the soggy green grass. To cap things off, the slate gray sky opened up and let loose with rain and, later, some pea-sized hail. Some got stoned. Most got soaked.
"I think it was very funny," said one of the tokers, who identified himself only as Dave. "First they tried to get us with the sprinklers and then it rains. We were going to get wet anyway." There were hundreds of people on the field, but not all of them were smoking. Several of the smokers clustered around the news cameras. Dave and his friend Elise have been coming to this rite of spring for the last three years. They brought along Jack, a yellow Labrador retriever. On his leg, they had written "420" with a felt-tipped marker. The numbers signify the timing of the event. At 4:20 p.m. on the 20th day of the fourth month, students gather each year to light up. About an hour prior to the rally, a group of students held a protest outside the Coors Event Center. Led by an off-campus group called SAFER (Safer Alternatives for Enjoyable Recreation), they called attention to their recent victory in a student referendum that called for reducing campus penalties for marijuana. The nonbinding referendum, which passed with the support of 68 percent of those voting, called for making university sanctions on pot use no greater than for alcohol. The protesters, carrying signs that read "Coors Kills, Pot Chills," argued that CU officials are ignoring the outcome of the vote. "To me, it goes beyond the marijuana issue," said Kyle Litchfield, a film major from New Hampshire, who held a sign that read, "$28,000-a-year and my vote doesn't count," referring to his out-of-state tuition. CU-Boulder spokeswoman Pauline Hale said campus officials are puzzled by the referendum. "The sanctions are very similar for both illegal drug use and possession as for alcohol violations," she said. While CU officials have agreed to meet with the students, Hale said she does not expect changes in policy. "We don't see the need for it," she said. The university's "two-strike policy," which calls for suspension after a second offense, applies equally to marijuana or alcohol violations, she said. Several campus police officers attended the protest and at least one one had a camera. Police were not on the field later, however, when the crowd spilled onto Farrand Field. Student Paul Bruwer took issue with CU's attempts to drive off the pot smokers with the lawn sprinklers. Bruwer said he does not smoke marijuana and objected to soaking the crowd. So he took action by putting his foot down on a sprinkler head. "I don't understand what's going on here," he said, as the water gurgled in a pool around his feet. "People here are much more calm and reserved than they are at a CU football game."Note: Hundreds doused first by school, then by Mother Nature.Source: Denver Rocky Mountain News (CO)Author: John C. Ensslin, Rocky Mountain News Published: April 21, 2005Copyright: 2004 Denver Publishing Co.Contact: letters Website: Choice -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #1 posted by J Christen-Mitchell on April 21, 2005 at 13:38:02 PT:
Boulder 420 in Central Park
   High Noon came and saw the start of a small assembly. Brent and Jerry from Colorado Springs, known as, erected a large tent which came in handy when later light showers emerged. It was a cold, gloomy day. Sprirts were never dampened this day.
   Earlier two rookie cops had been dropped off only to hang for an hour or so. City maintainance was on hand to set-up lawn sprinklers "for riot control" should the need arise.
   A hundred folks came and went as the day progressed still by 4:20 over a hundred assembled for the toast of "Happy 420". Three local chapter NORML officers said and sang their address.
   A good day in the park, thanks in part to the men and women of the Boulder Police Department who showed real class and simply observed. 
   Hope to see everyone here in on the hill in Boulder and throughout the globe at the Marijuana March May 7th.
   Cannabem Liberemus   Jeff Christen-Mitchell
Boulder NORML
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