Marijuana smoke rises from Norlin Quad at the University of Colorado during the 4/20 celebration on April 20, 2010 in Boulder. (Daily Camera file)

After 3 years of 4/20 closures, CU’s Boulder campus open to public today

The University of Colorado will remain open to the public today, the first time in four years the Boulder campus will not be closed on 4/20.

Chancellor Phil DiStefano announced the decision earlier this month in a letter posted to CU’s website. DiStefano cited the lack of activity on 4/20 at CU over the past three years and the presence of sanctioned events elsewhere as the reason for re-opening the campus to the public.

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While the campus will be open, CU’s Norlin Quad — which has been the epicenter of the smokeout that in past years drew 10,000 people — will still be closed this afternoon, and entering the quad could result in trespassing charges.

CU officials also said it’s possible that other fields also could be closed if police notice crowds gathering.

Citing the cost and safety concerns of thousands of people descending on the campus on 4/20, CU began closing it to the public in 2012. In the past, CU has tried everything from putting down fish-scented fertilizer to turning on sprinklers. Several non-students fought the closure in court, but a Boulder judge ruled that CU had the right to close the campus to the public on 4/20.

The campus has been closed to anyone who is not a student or employee on April 20 every year since, effectively snuffing the once-popular 4/20 smokeout.

Mitchell Byars: 303-473-1329, or

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