4/20 at CU-Boulder: University closure okayed, judge rejects Rob Corry complaint

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Update: After a four hour hearing, Boulder District Judge Andrew McDonald reportedly denied attorney Rob Corry's request for an injunction to prevent CU-Boulder from closing its campus to visitors as a way of undermining the annual 4/20 event.

As such, the CU Police plan outlined by spokesman Ryan Huff in a post earlier today will go ahead as originally conceived.

A tweet by Boulder Daily Camera reporter Mitchell Byars quotes Corry as saying he needed more time -- something CU cleverly denied potential opponents by waiting to announce the campus closure until just a week before April 20. Previously, the university had implied that the combination of a Wyclef Jean concert and a more active police response constituted its entire approach to shrinking the size of the gathering.

In another Byars tweet, CU chancellor Philip DiStefano says, "I believe this will work. We'll see tomorrow."

Look below for our previous coverage, including the Corry complaint.

Original item: A short time ago, marijuana attorney Rob Corry filed a preliminary injunction complaint in Boulder District Court.

The document's goal? To prevent CU-Boulder from closing Norlin Quad and barring visitors on campus tomorrow in an attempt to squelch the annual 4/20 event. Look below to read the complaint in its entirety.

None of the six plaintiffs named -- longtime marijuana activist Timothy Tipton, onetime Boulder Human Rights Commission member Rob Smoke, plus Katherine and Tom Cummins, Evan Ravitz and Jack Branson -- are CU students. However, the document attempts to establish their standing in asking for an injunction by noting that most of those named have attended 4/20 events, described in the text as "protests," on numerous occasions, and had planned to do so at CU again this year.

By the way, the narrative portion of the lawsuit references a Westword post -- an April 6 item in which CU-Boulder spokesman Bronson Hilliard disagreed with the characterization of the university's plan to ticket students as a "crackdown" but noted that police would be "more active" than in previous years.

The complaint's prayer for relief asks for a finding that "CU's plan to close its entire Boulder campus to non-students without specific permission, and its plan to close Norlin Quad to all, is unconstitutional and void" and asks for "a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction ordering the Defendant" -- the University of Colorado -- "and all those acting in concert with it to cease and desist from enforcement of the closure of the campus and Norlin Quad, pending the outcome of this litigation."

When asked via e-mail why he filed the complaint, Corry writes, "This is an unprecedented and radical step for CU to close its entire campus to end a peaceful protest; to my knowledge no public university in the United States has ever blockaded itself to squelch free speech.

"Hopefully the court will not allow this to stand," he continues. "We are concerned that this peaceful protest will be turned into a violent, dangerous, unsafe confrontation between police and protesters, and that CU's aggressive action will have the opposite effect of that which was intended, and CU's reputation as a tolerant, liberal arts educational institution will be harmed."

As Corry notes, "We hope to have a hearing and decision this afternoon on whether the 42/0 Rally will occur."

Update, 2:48 p.m. April 19: We've just learned that the hearing on Rob Corry's request for an injunction regarding 4/20 at CU-Boulder is expected to get underway moments from now -- at 3 p.m. at the Boulder county Justice Center, 1777 Sixth Street, in the courtroom of the honorable Judge Andrew Macdonald.

In the meantime, here's the injunction request.

CU 4/20 Complaint

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More from our Follow That Story archive: "Photos: 4/20 at CU-Boulder scenes you won't see this year."

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