Police contacted one of two men about smoking marijuana on Norlin Quad but ultimately did not issue any citations at CU Boulder on April 20, 2016. The
Police contacted one of two men about smoking marijuana on Norlin Quad but ultimately did not issue any citations at CU Boulder on April 20, 2016. The university expects this April 20, which is Thursday, to be "a normal spring day." (File photo)

With an entire generation of University of Colorado Boulder students having been on campus without the historic April 20 hoopla, CU officials are expecting another low-key year for the herbaceous holiday.

"To most people, it'll look like a normal spring day on campus," said campus spokesman Ryan Huff.

The university is taking the same approach as last year: no closures on campus.

From 2012 to 2014, the campus was closed to those unaffiliated with CU, and in 2015, Norlin Quad — one of the most prominent gathering places for pot festivities in the past — was cordoned off for a few hours.

"Last year was a normal day," Huff said. "We didn't have any problems."

The last time the university had citations or arrests on 4/20 was in 2012, Huff said.

Police are aware of the marijuana mayhem that drew some 10,000 to the campus and produced smoke clouds hanging above the institution that could be spotted and smelled near and far. Officers are prepared for "various scenarios," Huff said, although there won't be a large, visible police presence like in years past.

A faculty member used to host a Cannabis Symposium where students and officials gathered to talk about marijuana policy, but Huff said that wasn't happening this year.


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"When you look at the rest of the metro area, there are areas like Denver and Red Rocks that embrace that day and have events," Huff said. "Obviously, that is fine with us. It gives people an outlet to go to those events and not have them in an academic setting where our mission is academics and research."

Denver's Civic Center Park is planning to host its annual 4/20 rally with rapper 2 Chainz set to headline.

Huff was proud of the direction CU has gone to rid itself of the pot-centric party that drew national attention. To divert students from participating, the university hosted a Wyclef Jean concert in 2012 and doused Norlin Quad with a fishy-smelling fertilizer.

"We feel the efforts we've taken have been a success," he said. "It can take a few years to show that you're serious about this and that we don't want a disruptive gathering."

Elizabeth Hernandez: 303-473-1106, hernandeze@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/ehernandez