Obama to talk at CU's Norlin Quad, annual 4/20 site: Don't expect any fish fertilizer

barack obama fort collins august 28 2012.jpg
Big photos below.
The announcement that President Barack Obama will be speaking at CU-Boulder's Norlin Quad on Sunday marks the first time this particular campus spot has made headlines since April -- when the news was very different. Note that Norlin Quad is the site of CU's annual 4/20 event -- or it was until this year, when officials cordoned it off, spread it with stinky fish fertilizer and arrested three people who stepped on it.

Months before April 20, administrators, working in conjunction with student government representatives, announced a plan to shrink the annual pot bacchanal by closing off campus access to outsiders and declaring Norlin Quad off-limits. And to make that patch of green even more inhospitable, crews placed fish fertilizer on it.

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Fish fertilizer of the sort CU spread on Norlin Quad on 4/20.
"It's made of ocean fish that subsist on a diet of highly organic plankton," CU-Boulder spokesman Bronson Hilliard (disclosure: a longtime friend) told us at the time. "It's a very nutrient-rich fertilizer that we apply to the grounds of CU every spring and early summer. And this year, we simply made the decision to apply the first batch of it on Norlin Quad, for obvious reasons." He added that "it's not toxic, it's not harmful, it's totally organic, it doesn't have any chemicals in it, and it's not pleasant to breath."

Indeed, the fertilizer reeks for 24 to 48 hours after application. Yet three CU students -- Gabriel Kuettel, Jonathan Edwards and John Demopoulos -- chose to venture onto the Quad anyhow to protest what they saw as an infringement on their First Amendment rights -- and were promptly arrested for trespassing.

Afterward, attorney Sean McAllister agreed to represent the trio pro bono, and in an interview with Westword, he maintained that CU's campus closure was fascist -- a claim Hilliard rejected with extreme prejudice while defending the university's record for protecting, and prizing, free speech.

Presumably, there'll be plenty of the latter at the Quad on Sunday between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., when Obama is expected to speak shortly before heading to Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention. But will any of the attendees dare to light up?

Here are photos by Westword's Britt Chester of this year's 4/20 event.

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Photo by Britt Chester

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Photo by Britt Chester

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Photo by Britt Chester

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Photo by Britt Chester
More of Britt Chester's photos from 4/20 at CU-Boulder below.

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12 comments
Monkey
Monkey

No fly zone until 2pm, 30 miles around Obama. I can feel the freedom being sucked away already.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Will he have an 'EBONICS' interpreter

for 'rockiesfever' ???

Philo99
Philo99

You know you are a tyrant when you shut down more dispensaries than Bush did.

 

Stoners need to wake up and look at the facts, not Obama's fake promises.

 

Gary Johnson 2012.

Mannick D Pres-Saint
Mannick D Pres-Saint

Criticizing Obama's hawkish tactics against pot dispensaries is evidence of "secret" racism? Were you placed on the DNC payroll to spread these horse shit claims, Maldonado?

Barry Maldonado
Barry Maldonado

The reality is that it's all secret racism for the President. Wait don't want to say too much or I might get popcorn thrown at me or "USA" chanted at me when I start my speech. GTFOH...Dunn dunn dunn dunn lol

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

 @Monkey 

You sound bummed , my friend .

Here's an idea for you ,

This weekend is 'The Waste of Colorado !'

Go buy 5 tickets for $20 , when

EVERYTHING costs 3 tickets !

PLEASE GIVE ALL SINGLE ,

GOING TO WASTE TICKETS ,

TO THE HOMELESS !

DPD doe NOT need them .

They 'bull-dog' for food regularly .

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Monkey ... how's it feel relative to the Bu$h-Cheney Regime ?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Philo99 Why do you lie?

 

Are your friends and family ignorant enough to believe your lies?

 

 

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