BOULDER - The University of Colorado announced Monday that for the second consecutive year the campus will be closed to unauthorized visitors on April 20.
Officials hope this measure will quell the large-scale 4/20 celebrations that have happened on the campus in the past.
"We are committed to ending the unwelcome 4/20 gathering on the CU-Boulder campus, and this year's approach represents the continuance of a multi-year plan to achieve that end," said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano in a news release. "What's important here is the protection of CU's missions of research, teaching and service. This isn't about marijuana or drug laws. It's about not disrupting the important work of a world-class university."
In past years, the celebration drew up to 12,000 revelers. In 2012, after university officials shuttered the campus to outside visitors and even spread a fishy-smelling fertilizer on the grass as a deterrent, the crowds only numbered in the hundreds.
The funding for these increased security measures comes from insurance rebates to the campus - not from tuition or student fees, according to a news release.
Despite the recent legalization of the recreational use of marijuana in Colorado, CU officials reiterated their opposition to the celebration.
They noted that it's still illegal to smoke pot in public, and said the annual April 20 smoke-out disrupts academics, even though this year's celebration would fall on a Saturday. Smoking marijuana also violates campus policy.
CU's normal academic and cultural activities will continue on April 20, but students, faculty and staff will have to show their campus ID at entrances.
Those unaffiliated with CU-Boulder - or who are not approved visitors - risk citations that could mean a punishment of up to six months in jail and a $750 fine.
Law enforcement, including the Colorado State Patrol, will be on high alert on the highways surrounding Boulder, looking for drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to a news release from the university.
Visitors who have officials business, meetings or other officially sanctioned activities on the CU campus can obtain a visitors pass by filling out the form at http://www.colorado.edu/april20/campusaccess. The form must be completed and submitted by 10 p.m. on April 14.
In an agreement with CU student government, CU officials agreed not to use fish fertilizer to deter visitors, as well as for police officers to carry and distribute information cards explaining the university's security actions and protocol on April 20.
The university's student government agreed not to host a concert on 4/20 this year in an effort to save student funds, and in response to student feedback.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)