4/20 in Boulder: CU student government leaders want it moved off-campus (PHOTOS)

brooks kanski.jpg
Brooks Kanski.
NORML executive director Allen St. Pierre has called the annual 4/20 celebration on the CU-Boulder campus "an orgasm of cannabis consumption" -- one that definitely factored in to CU being named Playboy's top party school.

But a CU regent wants the bash moved off-campus -- and now, student government leaders have joined the call.

"We have some concerns with the event itself and the way it's conducted -- and the crowd it draws onto campus during classes," notes vice president of external affairs Brooks Kanski, speaking on behalf of his fellow CU student government executives, president Andrew Yoder and vice president of internal affairs Carly Robinson.

michael carrigan.jpg
Michael Carrigan.
The makeup of attendees is also an issue for CU Regent Michael Carrigan. In an April post, he said that "outsiders" -- participants who are not current CU students or staffers -- likely made up the majority of those who congregate on campus to light up on April 20, with many of them middle school or high school students whose presence raises safety concerns. He estimated the cost of protecting them at $50,000 per annum, which he considers a tremendous waste.

This expense troubles Kanski, too. "It's disturbing to students that their money is being spent for this," especially in light of speculation he's heard that only 10-25 percent of 4/20 revelers have direct CU ties. "I think it would be a totally different story if a super-majority were students, but that seems not to be the case."

However, he adds, "we've also had a lot of feedback from the student body about the size of the event, and how it disturbs classes around Norlin quad" -- ground zero for 4/20. "A number of them have told us they don't go to classes on 4/20 to avoid the crowds" -- and while he's never skipped out for this reason, he understands the incentive. In his view, "it's really an inconvenience to have to readjust your routine, especially so close to final exams. And it's turned into an all-day event. Crowds start showing up at 8 a.m. and stay until 7 or 8 p.m."

What about the argument that 4/20 is political in nature -- a colorful demonstration that calls for reform of outdated marijuana laws? "I don't know if I would see CU's campus as an appropriate venue for something like that," he allows. "Right now, it's ineffective at conveying a political message when it's creating these sorts of disturbances on campus."

brooks kanski andrew yoder carly robinson.jpg
Brooks Kanski, Andrew Yoder and Carly Robinson.
And then there's the question of whether the 4/20 bacchanalia harms CU's reputation. Kanski admits that views on this subject are far from unanimous.

"I think as elected executives of the student body, we have to represent the majority belief of the student body -- and we get mixed feelings from students about the reasons we should be doing this," he acknowledges. "But as an administration, we agree that we're here to increase the all-around excellence of our students, and part of that is contributing to a strong academic performance and a strong public image of our school. And this is a negative contributor for our school. We've seen its impact on our school's reputation across the country, and it's something we want to correct -- for the value of our students' degrees more than budget concerns."

At this point, Kanski and his colleagues don't have a position about alternative locations for the 4/20 bash. But once the school year starts, dealing with this problem will be "a strong priority for all of us."

Look below and page down to see photos of this year's 4/20 event at CU.

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Photo by Hunter Stevens

420-boulder-20112.jpg
Photo by Hunter Stevens

420-boulder-20113.jpg
Photo by Hunter Stevens

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32 comments
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Bob Dole
Bob Dole

Senior at CU and think this removal is absurd. This student body has only been here for 4 years max while the event has been around for over a decade.-$50,000 in expenses? Accept 2 more out of state students and you've more than covered your ass.-Its one day out of the year, just let it go.-Significantly more than 10-25 % of CU students.

I'm sorry but good luck, this is event is apart of history.

Renegade
Renegade

We have peaceful disobedience and the powers that be are getting the vapors. Next step is to bring the hammer down and get the jackboots out to whip those dope smoking hippies into line. Sounds like a traditionally peaceful event is going to be a state sponsored riot next year. Go Authoritarians! Fuck yea!

Awalter23
Awalter23

I personally know Brooks Kanski and most of the criticism being directed towards him is juvenile at best. He's a good kid, he really is. I personally don't agree with this move, and agree that he's parroting the administration line, but therein lies the real villain here, not Brooks.

I believe that this issue is petty-fogging more important concerns, such as the 9.2% tuition hike for in state students, or the financial aid situation with foreign born nationals. I mean, come on, really? $50,000 is petty money for CU. That's the tuition of one California kid who came to the university for Boulder's liberal perspective towards weed and 4/20 celebration in the first place. Sure, that's not "the brand"  that CU wants to present, but as it's been said earlier the reputation for alcoholism is the true lingering black cloud.

The last point I'll make is on this "outsider" statistic, that "only 10-25 percent of 4/20 revelers have direct CU ties". I call total bull-oney sandwich, Brooks, sorry. Where is this cited? The article even SAYS that it's speculation. From there, what constitutes a direct CU tie? The fact that my father is an alumni and pays dues? Or that my own tax dollars go to funding the school?

The kids will keep doing what they've been doing, regardless of what the university says. Betcha $5 that it costs more money for security to forcefully remove "protesting potheads" off campus than it does to let them stay! A la the war on drugs, anybody?

Awalter23
Awalter23

http://blogs.westword.com/late...

The last paragraph is more evidence that leads me further to the conclusion this is a petty-fog campaign to divert attention away from pertenint campus issues such as tuition hikes: "As for when the regents might address a 4/20 ban, Carrigan says, "We have important votes coming up on tuition and other strategic matters. But I certainly hope that before next spring, the administration on the Boulder campus will report how they plan on dealing with this next April, and every year after that.(Roberts)".

Come on, Really?
Come on, Really?

Why don't all of you MMJ geezers leave the kids alone.  Jesus, you're like the creepy 10th year senior that wants to continue to pretend to be in college.  Move it to the State Capitol where it belongs.

Oh wait, the Boulder hippies are too lazy or stoned to drive to Denver.  nevermind.

p.s.  Robert is excluded from this rant.  At least he advocates direct action where it belongs.  The larger the gathering there, the more press coverage you'd get.  No one reads the Daily Camera.

Student
Student

"Come on, Really"

Don't be affected by  "Ecodude" just another self-righteous liberal that thinks he knows better than you. You best listen to him because he reads the news (liberal outlets im guessing, sounds to me like he is being "guided and controlled" while attempting to do the  same to the us kids) and is your elder (sense the sarcasm). I'm all about rights, but as of now it is illegal, plus if a huge number of underage drinkers went to the quad with handles of Jack they would all be ticketed if not arrested (talk about selective prosecution). I've always been taught that i should follow the laws and challenge them through democracy not getting high. The 4/20 gathering is a legitimate gathering, IN DENVER at the capital, not at a University. The Boulder gathering does nothing for Marijuana rights, in actuality it hurts the credibility of the cause.

Student Too
Student Too

gimme a break!  ecodude is a loon but you are a fucking dick.  this is political censorship plain and simple.  the 4-20 rally at cu is covered by every major news outlet and has been the catalyst for numerous other gatherings over the years. norml doesn't seem to think it hurts the cause, just the opposite.  i tend to agree with the oldest and most active reform group in the nation.  i think 4-20 gatherings should happen everywhere.  every capitol, every campus, every park, on the white house lawn.

Come on, Really?
Come on, Really?

It's pretty clear that you, Ecodude and Student Too are the same person.  Or should I say the ultimate "straw man"...the Wizard of Oz scarecrow....if you only had a brain.

Typical hypocrisy of the Right, calling any disagreement pinheaded...just like O'Reilly would, and calling your personal attacks "real, hard hitting points".  It's laughable.  The CUSG is a democracy in action, with its representatives weighing in on a subject to minimize the damage to an adversely affected majority of the student body, and you yell "CONSPIRACY".

Yes, it is a conspiracy...of the highest order.  Representative government.  You lost.  You're in the minority.  Too bad.  You can either take it like an adult and work within the system persuasively, or you and your friends Ecodude and Student Too can whine and personally attack.  You've chosen the latter, which means you'll always be in the minority on campus issues.

p.s.  smoking dope is not speech or protected by the first amendment.  You'll never, ever win a constitutional argument or majority of opinion on that.  People who make that argument, like Student Too, trivialize the First Amendment....and will never be taken seriously.  I'd agree that it falls under a right to privacy, and you can do it on your own property.  CU is not your own property.

Awalter23
Awalter23

So, tell me, what's your own level of involvement at the school? You sound like an INVEST mouthpiece...Sir, kindly detach your lips and remove your tongue from the anus of INVEST, CUSG, and the admin. After your done, I suggest you also brush your teeth.

You're a caricature in your own right...some tea-bagger republican student/drone, mimicking the ad hominem debate tactics of Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly while avoiding real, hard hitting points others make. On the same internet blog you just put down, no less.

The bottom line is this: you're words are like a nicely gift-wrapped box (whoever said you had no command over English was spouting off), but when you open the present there's nothing inside except hate and fluff...disappointing to say the least. And ecodude's got your ticket, buddy. You're contradictory and hypocritical and JUST PLAIN SILLY.

Come on, Really?
Come on, Really?

I'm crying so hard my fingers keep slipping off of the keyboard.  I doubt you're a student, but if you are, I'm grateful you're in the minority.  You're a caricature of what "students" have come to mean in these times; whiney and vacuous.  A real student with opposing views would be out campaigning for student government office or lobbying the administration, not defending his dad Ecodude on some blog.  Good luck with the roofing, you'll be doing it for a lifetime.

Student Too
Student Too

you are such a royal tool and obviously not a cu student.  Ive got awalters answer as to how old you are.  you debate like an eighth grader who has too much time on his hands because you are too fucking lazy to get a summer job.  so ecodude has gone from a creepy old geezer pot head to an elitist influential money bags in one thread?  if your only rebuttal strategy is insult over substance you should at the very least make up your fucking mind what color mud youre slinging.

the cu student government does not represent my views or those of the majority of cu students. I dont recall being asked about their program cuts and I dont see them hacking any of the young republicans sacred cows.  their cuts are ideological crusade.  not majority representation.

piss off kid.  youre not helping anybody by posing as something youre not.

now if you will excuse me, I've got another day of laying shingles in 100 degree weather to pay for cu tuition hikes at 5x inflation.

Come on, Really?
Come on, Really?

Hilarious.  Yes, the students have a right to their own gatherings...and their duly elected student representatives have expressed the right of the student body to move this protest off campus because it is disruptive to the majority of students.  Riiiiight...you believe in treating everyone as equals...except the CU student body and their elected representatives.  And they don't get treated as equals because they have not yet become helicopter parents and big CU donors with a complete command over the English language.

You're the guy who walks into a bar and says "I bought a beer here 20 years ago, where is my seat?   I demand you remove that youngster from my seat because he obviously lacks the money and experience to order a proper beverage."

Maybe you should use your vast amount of monied influence and superior command of the English language to convince the CU Parents Association and the CU Foundation to take an offical position supporting the poor-oppressed student minority that wants to smoke dope on campus for a day.  Regale them with your experience at Kent State or Jackson State and how the invasion of Cambodia is equivalent to the war on drugs.  I'm sure that will be persuasive.

Ecodude
Ecodude

Oh, man - that's funny.  Talk about needing to grow up. You can't even see the contradictions in your own statements. In one post you say the rally should be moved to the sate capitol "where it belongs" then you turn around and defend the students' right to have their own gatherings.  Between the two of us, it's obvious that I'm not the one who should put down the bong.  

You seem to be doing a sufficient job in arguing with yourself but what the hell - I have a little time, so I'll engage for fun.  Let's go down the list.

"...leave the students to have their own gatherings".  You are absolutely correct.  Thank you for supporting the basic argument of every post I've written on this thread. Although I support them completely, I've never attended a 4/20 rally at CU. I'm not a student.  It's not my venue.  The last time I was on campus was for my son's graduation, ironically in a building which is now named after an alcoholic beverage - Coors Events Center.  I invite those who are so against the rally to explain that one to me.

Further, if you have read the numerous posts I've made on WW, you'll know that my personal interest in cannabis has never been recreational. I totally support full legalization because I appose prohibition and the war on drugs, which in reality is a war waged by the US on its own citizens.  My personal interest is that of a patient who has benefitted from MMJ after numerous and extensive spinal surgeries, at the recommendation of my doctor..  I no longer have to rely on dangerous and addictive narcotics to manage my pain and nerve damage.  The fact that cannabis is Schedule 1 is insane in my opinion, and I choose to speak out about it every chance I get.

The difference between the protests I attended in my college days and those gatherings that your generation attend now, is that we actually got shot at, beaten up and teargassed.  If you think for one minute I have any desire to relive the horror of seeing a classmate bleeding from a gunshot wound, then you are out of your fucking mind.  I find no romance or nostalgia in what went down in those days and I have done everything in my power as a parent to make sure my kids never live in a country where those sorts of things ever happen again.

If you consider my being a member of the CU Parents Association and contributing to the CU Foundation Parent fund makes me a "right wing dick" and "meddling" then I consider that a compliment from someone who, evidenced by their complete lack of command over the English language, has obviously never set foot on a college campus.

And yes, I am a rabid progressive to the core, and you are goddamn straight that I am self righteous about it.  I believe in the interests of the people over the interests of multinational corporations.  I believe in taking care of the poor and treating everyone as equals regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation.  And I believe in free speech and the right of the people to peaceful assembly - which you and others seem to have a real problem with in the case of 4/20 at CU.

Awalter23
Awalter23

Come on, Really? Sounds like a straw man argument to me. You don't know my opinion of the student body at CU, or anything else besides my thoughts on the CU administration's petty-fogging. I "disrespect" the student body as a whole...how? I admit, "parroting the administration line" wasn't necessarily the best way to phrase "Brooks agrees with the administration, I do not". He's a single kid, yet you assume that my opinion of him is representative of the student body as a whole?  You're assuming way too much, fuggedaboutit buddy. This isn't about Brooks Kanski; it's about the issue at hand: CIVILLY arguing whether or not CU should allow the 4/20 celebration.

It's the students' time and moment, sure, but if ecodude can cite

"It didn't help that the liberal/progressive vote was split by two separate tickets.  Combine those split votes and you can see clearly that the overall liberal vote was a full 30% greater than the conservative vote."

then you better believe this isn't the TRUE student body's choice of direction. So, hater, if you will be so kind as to refer all further comments to my secretary I'm gonna go smoke some reefer on Norlin Quad. 

Come on, Really?
Come on, Really?

You have as little respect for the student body as Ecodude, making your whole point invalid.  "Brooks is a good kid, he really is" but too dumb or weak to think for himself, "parrotting the administration line." 

Right...Papa (holding the purse-strings) knows best.

Great points:  "money talks and bullshit walks" and "the kids can't think for themselves."  With arguments like that, maybe you should join the CU administration...if you're not already a part of it.

It's the students' time and moment, let them have it.

Awalter23
Awalter23

Nice, man. Ad Hominem makes your whole point invalid. 'Geezers' pay the majority of tuition for their college-aged children, and they deserve a place in this argument. This 'geezer' in particular has just as much right as a student to say his piece considering he put 2 kids through the school AND pays Colorado taxes that funds everything from CUSG to campus renovations. Other than that, you didn't make any other points which leaves me with this to say to you: HOW OLD ARE YOU???? Are you not 18? I'm sure that, for the most part, we are all adults here and can communicate as such. There's no distinction between you and ecodude in my eyes. Besides, plenty of 'geezers' take classes at CU.

Come on, Really?
Come on, Really?

Yes, Student Too's comments are razor sharp if they infringe on a creepy geezer's right to get stoned and ogle coeds on campus.  Geezers like Ecodude should leave the students to have their own gatherings.  If you're not enrolled at the school, you should be cited for trespassing and whatever else can be levied against you ("carrying a load of self-righteous creepiness" should be a crime).

Also, because you believe that you understand the economics, having "contributed more to that University" than I "make in a year" (btw this is a weirdly classic right-wing dick position of "I paid for my right" juxtaposed with "the right should be free"), then you should realize that your geezer meddling in a University's and student's affairs is really an infantile desire to re-live whatever 60's protests you believe you had an influence in, at the cost of the present student body. 

Grow up.

Ecodude
Ecodude

Ha!  Not the first time I've been called a loon, a title I wear proudly in a world that has gone completely mad.  The rest of your comments are razor sharp and to the point.  Couldn't have said it better myself.

Ecodude
Ecodude

"Leave the kids alone"

These "kids" you refer to are guided and controlled by the biggest money in politics and have virtual autonomy over a $37 million budget that directly affects the students at one of the largest universities in the US.  The CUSG is arguably the most powerful student government in the country.  They've already moved to cut worthy programs that have been funded on campus for decades, simply because they are not in line with their new officers' neocon views.

I pay attention to CU because I've already sent 2 kids through that school (so far) and have contributed more to that university than you make in a year.

If you think that the political environment in our nation's universities is irrelevant, then you have absolutely no grasp on history whatsoever.  Organizations like The Leadership Institute are the scouts and mentors who are searching colleges for the next generation of operatives and political stars.  What they do on campus can have dramatic effects at the State Capitol and Washington DC.  Every POTUS from your lifetime forged their political career in college with the guidance and help of political elders.

You should pay attention to the geezers once in a while.  We still remember the history and civics lessons you never paid attention to in class.

And btw - I drive to Denver every day and read more local and national news in a morning than you've read your entire ignorant life, kid.

Come on, Really?
Come on, Really?

Right, these kids "are guided and controlled".  What a patronizing dick...who wants to guide and control these kids.

Robert
Robert

Brooks Kanski's expressed concern for the CU brand does him no credit (another marketing major, no doubt) -- he's just parrotting the Administration line, which tries to use cannabis against the rally, when CU's reputation is in the mire for its rampant ALCOHOLISM!

Ecodude
Ecodude

No doubt - I was there at homecoming in 2008 when 57 people were ejected from Folsom Field, mostly for violent alcohol related behavior. Last time I ever went to Folsom. 

From the Daily Camera:"CU police issued seven citations at the game for underage drinking; referred 11 students to CU's Office of Judicial Affairs; sent 12 people to a detox center; and arrested three people. One arrest was for disorderly conduct, another for assault and the third was made on a failure to appear warrant."Holy crap - 12 people had to be sent to detox.  Ever hear about anything like that at an MJ rally? Never.Here is my favorite quote from that event:"It was a pretty typical night game," said CU police Cmdr. Brad Wiesley.Typical!  Really?  Can you imagine if that number of incidents had happened at a 4/20 event?  It would be deemed armageddon in these people's eyes and they would have called in the National Guard to teargas everybody.Jeez - that one single game had more bullshit go down than all the 4/20's combined, and it's considered "typical" by the local police.  But no -  the REAL problem at CU is a once a year peaceful political display of civil disobedience which has had little to no reported violence in it's entire history.  These people have to be simply bat-shit crazy.  I just can't see any other explanation for it.

Oaff
Oaff

You are spot on , sir.

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

There's more weed smoked everyday on Boulder's campus than 4-20.  on 4-20 it just all happens at once.

Dutchess
Dutchess

Brooks Kanski needs a girlfriend.

guest
guest

He has one. And she is gorgeous

Guest
Guest

I'll bet he shops with her. Often. "He just has such wonderful fashion sense!"

It's the bowtie. It just screams of repression.

The Spleen
The Spleen

...or a boyfriend. Either one would do the trick, I'll bet.....

Robert
Robert

I understood that the student body president had called for participants to protest at the State Capitol -- irrespective of all the concerns raised about the call to end the 4/20 rally on-campus, that is an excellent idea.

Friday, April 20, 2012, plan to spend the day at the Capitol demanding that the functionaries of the prison-industrial complex within rescind their fascist laws against cannabis -- bring bullhorns, signs, and friends!

Ecodude
Ecodude

This is the result, in part, of external political influence and manipulation on the CU campus.

Keep in mind that The Leadership Institute (see Morton Blackwell & Karl Rove) helped the INVEST ticket sweep the student election and install a Republican majority into CU's student government, including Bruce Kanski, Andrew Yoder and Carly Robinson.

It didn't help that the liberal/progressive vote was split by two separate tickets.  Combine those split votes and you can see clearly that the overall liberal vote was a full 30% greater than the conservative vote.  In other words, you now have a conservative CU student government that does not represent the views of the majority of the student body by any stretch of the imagination.  

The first thing the new conservative student government moved on was to defund CoPIRG and other "liberal" programs - a move that is trumpeted on the Leadership Institute website, no less.

I promise you, that is just the beginning.  The majority will of the student body will be bulldozed by this group to effect change of their own narrow design.

Now, you clearly see that they are marching on anything that doesn't agree with their self righteous puritan conservative views.  I predict 4/20 won't be the only political statement that will be "moved off campus".

The thugs are getting younger every year.  This is real.  CU students need to wake up.

Oaff
Oaff

I knew CoPIRG had been defunded didnt know that was the story though !! wow

MMJ patient
MMJ patient

The most important photo here is the one that says "America is run by crooks!" Truer words were never spoken.

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