4 20 Celebrations are starting across the globe. 4-20 is the day that marijuana smokers settle in and enjoy their favorite herb. The underground observance began when students at a San Rafaeil, California high school used the code "420 Louie" to give the signal that they would gather to smoke the illicit drug at 4:20. Despite popular belief, the 4 20 celebration was not based upon the law enforcement code 420. The code for a drug bust is 11350: "preventing or obstructing entry upon or passage upon public lands."
Celebrators of the 4/20 event expect the largest rally will be held in Colorado at Denver's Civic Center Park. In attendance will be NORML executive directer Allen St. Pierre. Denver's 4/20 lineup includes live music and a slew of speakers. Last year's bash at the University of Colorado at Boulder was rendered "an orgasm of cannabis consumption" by St. Pierre and the thousands in attendance. The campus is bracing itself for the biggest event yet at 4:20 p.m. on 4/20/2010 in front of the Norlin Library. NORML@CU executive director Alex Douglas stated: "We're expecting the largest gathering in the history of 4/20 at CU -- between fifteen and twenty-thousand people at the Norlin Quad."
The 4/20 event in Colorado began in 1997 and extended beyond the campus despite the administration's many attempts to discourage it. Douglas reported "CU-Boulder began getting a lot of attention because of the tactics they used to stop the students from participating in the 4/20 event. One year, they shut down the field and hired outsourced security to stand around. And they also turned the sprinklers on -- but that didn't really stop anybody. And then, the next year, they took video and put stills online and tried to get students to identify the people. It was absolutely ridiculous. There was a lot of mockery going on. Douglas furthered that "the university did something very smart in their eyes: They destroyed the field to make a new one, thinking that was going to help 4/20 simmer down," Douglas says. "But it actually wound up making it more interesting, because that's when it moved to Norlin Quad -- and that's where we really got to see the increase in numbers."
Many marijuana smokers intend to protest the nation's harsh anti-marijuana laws by blowing smoke at authorities. Students at CU at Boulder may do just the same as many share Douglas' sentiment: "they're protesting for what they believe in at their university, and that statement alone makes it so popular and newsworthy."