Marijuana tickets issued on 4/20

2011: 30

2010: 16

2009: 0

2008: 0

Source: Daily Camera archives

University of Colorado police issued 33 tickets -- twice as many as last year -- to 4/20 participants on the Norlin Quad last week, Cmdr. Tim McGraw said Monday morning.

McGraw said that while most of the tickets were for possession of marijuana -- a petty offense with fines up to $100 -- some were issued for unlawful conduct. All tickets included in that total were 4/20-related and do not include tickets issued outside of the event.

"There wasn't any specific intent or goal of increasing summonses this year," McGraw said. "The opportunities to cite those who were clearly away from the event in either distance or time presented itself in greater frequency this year than last."

The final ticket count was not finalized until Monday because McGraw's other duties in the department took precedent over the ticket tally, he said.

Last year, police issued 16 tickets for marijuana possession during 4/20, one ticket for trespassing and one ticket for possession of alcohol by an underage person.

In 2008 and 2009 CU Police did not write any marijuana citations on 4/20.

While police seem to be getting tougher on marijuana offenses at the annual smoke-out it's still not enough according to some CU students.

CU junior Maxine Brumer said tickets could be effective if campus police would issue them to more 4/20 participants.

"I'm glad they are giving some tickets because doing something is better than nothing," Brumer said. "But I think a lot fewer people would come if the police really started ticketing more people."

When asked if he believed tickets helped to diminish interest in the event, McGraw said "judging by what appeared to be a similar crowd size this year as last, no."

But not everyone is convinced that tickets won't help decrease students' interest in 4/20.

CU freshman Cassandra Anderson said she's never been to the smoke-out on the quad but said she's no stranger to the attitude most students have about the event.

"Nobody thinks it's a big deal even if they do get a ticket," Anderson said. "The police need to start giving more tickets if they want people to think twice about going."

Other students said the simplest solution would be to increase the fee associated with marijuana tickets.

CU junior Josh White said for many students who are willing to break the law to join in on the 4/20 party a measly $100 fine isn't going to change their minds.

"They really need to up the fine," White said. "Make them pay more for the tickets and that might discourage people from going."

There were nine medical calls and three transports to the hospital at 4:20 p.m. Wednesday, McGraw said. There were no arrests related to 4/20 activity by CU police, he said.