BURLINGTON – In an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus, the University of Vermont and the administration of Burlington Mayor Miro Weinburger are working together to offer free marijuana to UVM students as they begin their return to Burlington. The free weed will be offered as an incentive to complete the 14-day stay at home quarantine required of out-of-state-students returning to Vermont. This new initiative, which officials are calling Baked in Burlington, was announced at a virtual news conference attended by Mayor Weinburger and UVM President Suresh Garimella.
“Look, we get it,” said Weinburger at the briefing. “It’s difficult to sit in your crummy little apartment with your six roommates for an entire two weeks. That’s why we’re offerring a care package to all returning students that will include masks and hygiene supplies, and as an added incentive, a quarter ounce of weed per person per day.” Weinburger added that students who successfully competed the stay-at-home program will be given an additional two ounces at the end of the fourteen period. “This is really awesome weed. Primo stuff. We recommend everyone now stay at home, shelter in place, and get totally baked.”
“We understand,” President Garimella concurred. “You want to hang out in Burlington for the summer, party with your friends, maybe pass out on the beach a time or two. But these are not ordinary times and we need your help in keeping the virus at bay. Besides,” he continued, firing up a blunt and letting the smoke obscure his tiny video head on this reporter’s laptop screen, “this is really awesome weed.”
When asked whether the program would be extended into the fall semester when more students are slated to arrive, Garimella shrugged his shoulders and said, “Well, there won’t be any classes or other activities, so probably.”
The Burlington Police Department will conduct “Hey, are you stoned” patrols during the first few days of the move-in period to ensure that everyone is partaking, Weinberger said. Officers will also be educating students to ensure they’re “aware of the incentive program” the mayor said. He added that students preferring not to smoke will be offered a range of edible products, including the Mayor’s personal brownie recipe. “Pretty much how I make it through those long council meetings, “ the Mayor explained.
No city funds would be used on the project, the Mayor added. “UVM is footing the entire bill, and we are grateful to them.”
“We’ll likely cut non-tenured faculty salaries another five percent or so, “President Garimella chimed in. “So really not a big deal, bottom line, for the university.”
When informed of the new initiative, UVM senior Kyle Bonger voiced his approval. “Totally awesome,” the seemingly already-stoned senior from Rhode Island said as he unloaded his SUV in front of his Greene St. apartment, adding “Burlington is such a great place in the summer.”
In other news, Farrell Distributing announced a program supplying free kegs to returning students, in exchange for promises to not litter lawns and sidewalks with those red plastic beer cups.