Notes from the toked: Boulder's 4/20

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Flowery dresses, drum circles, nut butter, bubbles, climb trees, passing out, so much weed, planes, just doob it, people.

Those are all the notes I managed to take while on assignment blowing off a staff meeting to take in Boulder's version of 4/20. Campus police estimated that 8,000 to 10,000 people descended to the Norlin Quad, at the center of the CU's campus, to celebrate the most venerable Ms. Mary Jane -- far fewer than the estimated 15,000, but still good for a whole lot of tokin'.

I got there at around 4:10 and was blown away by the scene: I saw seniors citizens smoking with seniors in high school. I saw a man in a banana suit. I saw someone selling t-shirts with the Nike swoosh and the words 'Just Doob It.' I saw, and then grabbed, a packet of Justin's Nut Butter, which were being handed out to hungry potheads. I saw a seemingly unending sea of stoners on a gorgeous day "protesting" the marijuana laws by getting massively high.

A man climbed a tree within the sea of people and waved to the thousands from about 75 feet up in the air, and was greeted with a standing ovation. He was also greeted by the police as he climbed back down.

As 4:20 approached, two small planes began to make circles around the crowd, causing said crowd to wave and cheer to the sky. At 4:19, there was a collective inhale, and one minute later a collective exhale that created the fog of the most nonviolent war ever.

I did see a few casualties though, with one kid being attended to by paramedics as he gazed blankly into space, probably wondering what thoughts really are, man. The cops stood idly by as blunts bigger than cigars were sparked and passed.

And although CU did not make Playboy's recently released list of the Top 10 Party Schools, I don't think it phased too many students as they were busy HANGING OUT WITH 10,000 OTHER PEOPLE SMOKING POT IN THE MIDDLE OF THEIR ACADEMIC CAMPUS. Seriously, Playboy?

Call it a protest, a disgrace, a demonstration or an embarrassment. I call it incredible, personally. When this many people get together and the most ghastly thing you see is someone puff-puff-puff-passing (yeah, that's an extra puff), it's a pretty stunning sight.

At around 4:25, people began to file out of the quad and create, I'm assuming, some of the longest lines in area restaurant history.

This joint's for you, participant smokers, for not losing control and creating the laziest riot ever. And this joint's for you, police, for being involved just enough to keep the order and help out those stupid enough to pass out at a 4/20 event. Finally, this extra big joint is for the administration that allows possibly the biggest pot demonstration in the world... all without "condoning" it.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.