UVM Seeks to Limit “420” with Alternative Celebration

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(Host) The University of Vermont will stage a rock concert tomorrow as part of a three-day spring celebration. The event is designed to replace an annual protest of marijuana laws that brought thousands to campus to smoke pot in public.

Bill Tickner is a UVM senior and president of the school’s Student Government Association. He says the "420" events, as they’re known, have harmed the school’s image in the Legislature.

(Tickner) "We’ve been seeing a real negative response from the state about what’s happened, about these students breaking the law and partying on this day. We’re worried about it as students. We’re worried about our reputation¿. We only get so much funding from the state, we can’t lose it. If we lose any more funding, our school’s going to be hurting."

(Host) Saturday’s celebration is open only to UVM students and their guests. The concert is headlined by Vida Blue, a band that brings together members of Phish, the Allman Brothers and the Funky Meters. Tickner says he hopes the event will be a chance for students to celebrate before final exams begin in the first week of May:

(Tickner) "On this day, we want to have a real good positive event that the whole community can enjoy. If people want to protest they can do it in a legal fashion, you know, not breaking the law. If they break the law, you know, they have to be prepared for law. They have to be prepared for consequences because we do have to uphold the state’s rules and regulations, until they’re changed, if they ever do get changed."

(Host) Campus police will also be on hand. UVM Police Chief Gary Margolis says his officers won’t be looking the other way if students begin smoking marijuana.

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