Colorado University-Boulder officials on Friday coated a large tract of land with a gag-worthy, fish-based fertilizer and hired Haitian musician Wyclef Jean to stage a free concert off campus, just to keep an annual gathering of marijuana protesters away from the school.
A bonus: the school’s contract with Wyclef stipulates that he must avoid “making direct references to marijuana and other illegal drugs or make 4/20 related remarks” during his performance on the stoner high holiday of April the 20th.
The school would appear to have made a significant contribution to science with their unusual strategy, as the combination of both fish guts and censorship has so far acted as an effective stoner repellent.
It’s almost an ideal representation of how attitudes have changed with regards to the nation’s drug war: In 1968, a pack of vocal, drug-using students might have brought out the national guard for an ugly display of baton-swinging, but in 2012 authorities simply hire a faux-Rastafarian to sing and dance, then spray some stink-mist.
The trouble started when CU-Boulder officials said last week that they would close down the campus to all non-students on April 20, as a means of preventing the annual protest, which typically lasts from about 3:30-4:30 p.m. and has been known to draw up to 10,000 people.
“The gathering disrupts teaching and research right in the heart of the campus,” CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano said in a media advisory. “The size of the crowd has become unmanageable, and limits our faculty, staff and students from getting to class, entering buildings and doing their basic work. It needs to end.”
Not even a local marijuana attorney, who requested a restraining order to stop the school’s plans, was able to halt the official response.
“I think CU’s real reason is they wrongly believe this hurts CU’s reputation,” attorney Robert Corry, Jr. told Raw Story. “I think the opposite is true: CU is strong enough to tolerate opinions that are different to the mainstream.”
As it turns out, foul smells and crunchy grooves really were all it took to bring down the nation’s most frequented and longest-running 4/20 celebration. Speaking with The Daily Camera, several students said outright that they’ll be keeping far away thanks to the horrific odor, and there was virtually no activity on the quad by early afternoon.
And thus one of the nation’s largest gatherings of potheads dies, not with a bang, but with a bassline.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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