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4-20 on College Campuses

April 21, 2009 By: Category: Campus Life, Campus parties

April 20th, 4-20, can be better know as Cannabis Day on college campuses across the U.S. To some students, 4-20 marks a “holiday” where individuals eat, inhale or intake marijuana. One explanation of the origin of the term stems from a story of high schools that would meet after school to smoke marijuana. The exact time that was chosen, 4:20, was the time that after school detention was dismissed. Click here to see the full video of the history of 4-20.


Photo of 4/20 celebration by compscigrad

NBC asks: It’s 4/20 — Do You Know Where Your Kids Are?  At UC Santa Cruz, vice-chancellor of student affairs sent out an e-mail to all parents warning them of this date. The the e-mail stated “I encourage you to talk with your student about his or her plans for 4/20. Ask direct questions about the choices they make and express your expectations regarding marijuana, alcohol or other drug use. Although students may not initiate discussion on this topic, your opinions and expectations can influence their behavior.”

So, should college campuses stamp out 4-20 festivals? In my opinion, yes! It’s illegal! But are campuses actually doing anything about it? Not that I’ve heard of. After researching the topic and combining my experiences and talking with friends from other schools, colleges aren’t doing much to stop the all day pot party. At the University of Rhode Island, we have a 3-strike rule that applies to the consumption or possession of alcohol. After 3 offenses, a student is out. With marijuana and other illegal drugs, police are called on the first offense.

Each college or university has their own policy about smoking marijuana on campus. Although extra measurements won’t be too prevalent on most campuses on April 20, the usual rules apply. The nation’s biggest 4/20 event took place Monday at the University of Colorado, but no possession tickets were given. As quoted in this Colorado Daily article, CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard said the smoke-out is hard to squelch because of the sheer volume (nearly 10,000 students participated in CU’s 4/20 yesterday) of students and the fact that they are mostly just acting as peaceful protestors.

So will 4-20 celebrations continue? Probably. Will students see tougher consequences in the future? Well, it really depends on the campus.

Did you participate in a 4-20 celebration on Monday? Do you think campuses should do more to stop them? Do you think students should participate? Let us know what you think!