University of Colorado officials are discussing the possibility of shutting down an annual marijuana celebration event that costs the school tens of thousands of dollars to manage.
Vice Chancellor for Administration Frank Bruno said CU pays about $50,000 annually to hire personnel from the sheriff and police departments as security for the event that draws as many as 10,000 pot-smokers to the school on April 20.
CU also pays for security to close off on-campus parking to those coming for the smoke-out and to guard campus buildings -- checking campus identifications to make sure people weren't aimlessly wandering into building, the Boulder Daily Camera
Bruno said CU has a liability to make sure the campus is safe.
However, CU Regent Michael Carrigan called the expense "an outrageous waste of money."
The university is coping with a $50 million shortfall in state funding during the last two years.
CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard said the university is open to ideas about stopping the event, which is not sanctioned by the university.
Two decades ago, the city successfully shut down the Mall Crawl, after the annual event attracted 40,000 people in 1989, prompting packs of riot-geared police officers to arrest 27 people for brawling and other offenses. About 100 people were injured. The city shut down streets leading into Boulder, effectively deterring crowds, the Camera reported.
While some students think the money should be spent elsewhere, such as for lab equipment or staff, CU sophomore Samantha Rivera told the newspaper that CU went "overkill" with cops and security.
"Nobody is there to do anything but chill," she said.
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