DENVER (the Patch) — A school bus filled with more than 6,000 footballs will roll into Elitch Gardens as students head back to school. The City and County of Denver is partnering with Elitch Gardens for the project, which aims to highlight how many students lose college financial aid and opportunities after marijuana violations.

Each football represents $10, and those stuffed in the bus add up to a year’s tuition at a four-year college. The football-stuffed bus illustrates how underage marijuana use — recreational weed is legal in Colorado, but not for people under 21 — can affect students’ lives longer-term.

In the 2017-2018 school year, 79 percent of marijuana violations by Denver Public Schools students resulted in suspension or expulsion, and more than 200,000 college students nationwide have been denied financial aid because of a drug arrest or minor drug offense, the city said.

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