Pubdate: Wed, 10 May 2006
Source: Daily Times-Call, The (CO)
Copyright: 2006, The Daily Times-Call
Author: Pierrette J. Shields, The Daily Times-Call
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Youth)


BOULDER -- University of Colorado officials aren't sure  that a 
tactic used April 20 to discourage an annual  pot-smoking celebration 
on Farrand Field worked well  enough for an encore next year.

About 2,500 people attended the annual, unofficial  celebration of 
marijuana use, and officials arranged  for participants to be 
photographed at the event at the  closed field that was marked with 
40 "no trespassing"  signs.

About 250 photographs were posted on the University of  Colorado 
Police Web site, along with the promise of a  $50 reward for 
subjects' identities. Students who were  identified were referred to 
the University of Colorado  Judicial Affairs to face possible 
disciplinary procedures for trespassing at the school.

"The thing is, it was overwhelming to us," said Barrie  Hartman, a CU 
spokesman. "We had no idea how many  students would respond, calling 
in and so forth."

Hartman said the judicial affairs office was flooded  with cases from 
the event. Rewards were to be paid out  of any fines collected from 
those identified.

A check of the Web site Tuesday night found the photos  had already 
been removed.

"The number of calls we are getting is winding down,"  said Lt. Tim 
McGraw of the CU police department.

McGraw said about half of the people in the photos were identified.

Hartman said he expects that a "representative sample"  of the 
identified students will likely face school  disciplinary procedures. 
CU has a two-strike policy as  a means of discouraging students from 
breaking the  rules outlined in the student code of conduct.

Students referred to judicial affairs may have their  cases reviewed 
and resolved by one of several kinds of  administrative reviews or 
heard by judicial affairs  board, according to the CU Web site.

The board has at least one student and one faculty  member. The 
offense "information must demonstrate that  it was more likely than 
not that the conduct occurred."

Hartman said the university decided to use the photo  tactic to 
address the gathering to use an illegal  substance without triggering 
a serious confrontation  with the large crowd of participants.

"We feel that as long as smoking marijuana is against  the law we 
need to react in some way, but we need to  react in a ... restrained 
way," Hartman said, noting  that the crowd far outnumbered the 
university's police  force.

"From a pragmatic standpoint, our enforcement options  are severely 
limited on the scene," McGraw said of the  possibility of ticketing 
so many people.

University officials closed the field for the day to  discourage the 
event, but the signs were ignored. Last  year, the sprinklers were 
turned on at the field to  douse the participants.

Hartman said he doesn't know what the university will  do about the 
gathering next year but said  administrators feel that many people 
would like the  university to discourage illegal behaviors on campus.

"We're going to do as you guys to tell us what to do,"  Hartman said. 
"We've run out of ideas."
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