College students and residents alike may “blaze it” this April 20, residents of Carrboro and Chapel Hill shouldn’t expect changes in police presence and enforcement.
April 20, commonly known as 4/20, has become a day known for marijuana use.
The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) said they tend to operate with the same level of presence and diligence on April 20 as the rest of the year because they never had issues in previous years to suggest otherwise.
“We don't treat April 20 in Chapel Hill any differently than any other day. We have our normal police presence and treat illegal drug use the same as the other 364 days of the year,” said spokesperson Ran Northam in an email.
Northam said there was one person arrested by the Chapel Hill Police Department on last year’s April 20. The person was arrested for possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver marijuana.
Brad Ward, narcotics investigator with the Carrboro Police Department, said in an email that there doesn’t tend to be an increase in drug charges on April 20 in Carrboro either.
“There will be no increased police presence. Historically there hasn’t been an increase in incidents on 4/20 to warrant an increased presence,” Ward said.
Ward said that last year's April 20 there were no charges made for possession or the intent to sell marijuana in Carrboro.
Chief Police Officer of CHPD Chris Blue said that reducing the emphasis on low level possession crimes such as possession of a low level of marijuana is an intentional effort to maximize and most efficiently respond to community needs.