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Fish and Cannabis: A 4/20 Saga


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Early this morning, CU-Boulder officials coated the Norlin Quad with fish-based fertilizer in what has already become perhaps the most storied in a long line of attempts to thwart 4/20 celebrators from lighting up on school grounds. That the smell of marijuana smoke wafting in the air later today may be tinged with aroma of fish has garnered widespread coverage not just locally, but also by national news outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and CNN. The campus has also been shut down to the public and visitors today, with employees and students required to show their university IDs to remain on the grounds.

“Everything that we’re doing today is to make it unpleasant to stand or sit or be on Norlin Quad,” CU Spokesman Bronson Hilliard said in an interview with the Denver Post. “As you can see, it’s very odiferous. It does not smell nice at all.”

But for cannabis enthusiasts and activists in Colorado, 4/20 in Boulder has always been something marked by a last-stand mentality, a hell-no-we-won’t-go sort of resolve. And that demeanor may be more alive than ever this year: voters in November will decide whether Amendment 64 gets passed, which would make it legal under state law for marijuana to be sold and purchased by adults for recreational as well as medicinal uses. Colorado would be the first state in the nation to pass such a measure.

In the past, 4/20 celebrators have held the event on campus despite threat of being ticketed and fined, much of the time without the added incentive of an election year which could radically up-end historical laws against marijuana use. But who knows, maybe the pungent stench of fish is just the thing to send the party elsewhere. Although maybe campus officials should have done some research on whether fish fertilizer is really the most effective kryptonite to all the gathering ganja-Supermen; green-thumbed marijuana growers often use it to help their plants flourish. Well…there’s always next year to break out the mothballs.

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