Fearing the get-tough policies for marijuana smokers on 4/20, many UVM students are turning to crack.
“The campus police can smell a bong rip from a mile away, but they’re not onto the scent of crack yet,” asserts UVM freshman Derek Ellerman.
4/20 is a day traditionally devoted to the smoking of marijuana. Rooted in San Rafael, California, on this day each year, millions of pot-smokers are expected to “toke up.” At UVM, this has traditionally meant sitting on the campus green and peacefully smoking marijuana around 4:20 PM.
In the last several years, however, the UVM administration, with the help of UVM Police Services, has seen fit to crack down on this illegal activity; with the result that, with concerts, scheduled activities, and the quite attractive possibility of no legal sanctions, offered together in a package known as “Spring Fest” as alternatives to the traditional activity, only a handful of students currently choose to partake in the “smoke in” festivities.
“I used to think it was cool to sit around and smoke pot with my friends in the great spring weather,” says UVM junior Carla Vallencourt, setting down the baking soda, pipe, and crack rock that have become her constant companions. Twitching nervously, she adds, “After 4/20 was banned, I started looking for something new.”
Not a fan of such bands as Vida Blue or Blackalicious, headliners of recent Spring Fest concerts, Vallencourt took to the streets in her quest for new plans for the big day. She emerged with a sense of relief upon her discovery of an alternative illegal drug in which to partake on 4/20.
“I’m really very addicted,” Vallencourt says with a smile that quickly disappears as she attempts to swat at the insects she feels crawling underneath her skin.
Of course, there are those who question the new crack cocaine trend. UVM freshman Jason Hartling is committed to showing the student body that crack does not have to be the answer.
“Crack has ravaged the ghettos of our nation,” says Harling. “Millions of people’s lives have been ruined as they turn to prostitution or even die in the attempt to fet their next fix.”
Hartling adds, “The social implications of crack cocaine are not something UVM students need associated with them anyway. I was into pot for awhile, and I kinda liked that image. But if I’m not gonna be allowed to light up on 4:20, then you better believe I’ll be doing something even better.” He tightens the belt around his left arm and slaps it several times to find the vein.
As he slips the needle into his vein, Harling reports, “This year, come 4:20, I’m going to be chasing the dragon. And nobody’s going to tell me that I…” The rest of Harling’s words are lost as the sweet narcotic bliss of heroin cuts short his capacity for conversation.
As heretofore little-used at UVM drugs continue to proliferate on the UVM campus, it is anyone’s guess what festivities will look like on 4:20, or indeed whether activities will commence at all given the extreme number of students who have dropped out of school to enter rehabilitation clinics or pursue their newfound habits full-time.
Surveying the used needles and crack pipes littering the green, UVM police officer Kirk Hammerstein sniffs the air. “Not a trace of THC… I think our job here is done.”