Toga! Toga! If the Governor's Mansion is Animal House, who's the real party pooper?

Categories: Marijuana

Jim Belushi...or Mason Tvert?
Why is it that all marijuana actions are scheduled for 4:20? That's when Mason Tvert, founder of SAFER and father of Amendment 64, showed up outside the Governor's Residence at the Boettcher Mansion last Friday to call Governor John Hickenlooper a hypocrite for installing craft-beer taps there and turning it into Colorado's version of Animal House. But while Tvert's protest outfit -- a bed-sheet toga -- was intentional -- he swears the timing was a coincidence. After all, the members of the Colorado Brewers Guild who paid for the tap system and the governor himself weren't showing up until 6 p.m., so Tvert was all alone except for a few cameras.

"To be honest, we generally never do anything at 4:20," Tvert says, "but we got our release out at 2 p.m., and I wanted to give extra time to make the point that the governor will express outrage over people using marijuana one day a year, but has installed beer taps so booze will flow every day of the year."

Mason Tvert outside the Governor's Mansion
As for the Animal House theme, Tvert explains: "The governor is basically making our top official residence a partying headquarters...and it really brings up the image of a fraternity house. Whenever someone puts a beer tap in their home, it certainly raises the memories of fraternity parties."

In fact, the last time Tvert was in front of the Governor's Mansion, it was to make political hay off of one of then-Governor Bill Ritter's sons hosting a keg party at the mansion; photos made it to Facebook. But young Ritter had to bring in his own beer.

Hickenlooper will have three Colorado beers on tap, and in kicking off Colorado Craft Beer Week -- and the new draft system -- he touted an industry that pours $826 million into the state every year. :The goal is to have geographic diversity from breweries all over the state," says Hickenlooper, who co-founded the Wynkoop Brewing Company in 1988. "We'll try to have a lighter, more accessible beer on the first tap -- like a lager or a pale ale or a wheat beer. On the second, we'll try to always have something bolder, like an IPA or something a little more feisty. And on the third tap, we'll have some experimental beers."

For failing to point out that marijuana, too, is contributing to Colorado's economy, Tvert goes so far as to compare Hickenlooper to that notorious killjoy, Dean Vernon Wormer of Faber College. "How can he justify his promotion of alcohol ause, while meanwhile he's continuing to condemn those adults who would rather use marijuana?" Tvert says of the governor.

But if Hickenlooper is really turning the mansion into a frat house, wouldn't he be a member of Delta Tau Chi? (Or nomination: earnest-yet-geeky geeky president Robert Hoover?) And isn't Tvert the one who's the party pooper?

John Hickenlooper...or Dean Wormer?
Beer is definitely the vice of choice in Animal House, set in 1962, although there is some pot; pantless professor Donald Sutherland smokes a joint.

But really, maybe Tvert is just lucky that Hickenlooper simply put the draft system in a room that long ago had been turned into a bar when it was a private home, rather than decide to restore the giant marble fountain that once stand in the middle of one of the mansion's most formal rooms, and reconfigure it to spout beer.

Now, that would be a party.

More from the Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "A century and a half later, the wounds of Sand Creek are still fresh."

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DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Hey Toga Turd, why aren't you protesting the CDPHE's attempt to rape the Constitutional Rights of Patients and Caregivers ?

Christopher David
Christopher David

Just let Hickenlooper have his beer; that's kind of his thing. All the marijuana advocates forcing pot on the governor sound like the pushers in a 80's "Just Say No" PSA.

RobertChase topcommenter

Go Mason!  An excellent idea for protest, given extra verisimilitude by your resemblance to John Belushi.  I don't want to see any member of the Fascist (Republican) Party elected to any office, but Hack has got to go.


So, if I light up a joint, I am "doing drugs" since cannabis contains THC. OK, I agree.  But if I am drinking a beer, I am not "doing drugs" even though beer contains alcohol, a drug?  If I am having a coffee break, I am not "doing drugs" even though coffee contains caffeine, a drug?  If I light up a cigarette, I am not "doing drugs" even though most people, if not all, smoke cigarettes for the nicotine, a drug?

This whole issue would be a lot easier if people would get away from their denial and rationalization and admit their drug use and own it.  We all do drugs on a daily bases, most simply deny their use.  Some even go as far as to use drugs that cause them problems.  We see those people in the nightly news.  A lot of us start our day at Starbucks or end it a happy hour, some do both.

If Hick wants recreational drugs in the mansion by way of beer, then OK, but he shouldn’t then make fun of other's recreational drug use.  He can keep his Cheetos and Goldfish to himself.


Tvert is a buffoon who has officially jumped the shark. When you start dressing up, game over, man, game over. 

RobertChase topcommenter

"All the marijuana advocates forcing pot on the governor ..." -- W.T.F. are you talking about?  Hack is responsible for the regulation of the cannabis sold in dispensaries -- he says he hopes it fails.  Hack is responsible for cannabis being made a Class 1 felony for the first time ever and for the reinstitution of all the felonies for cannabis -- the Constitution says we should regulate it like alcohol.  What don't you get?  No activist against Prohibition expects Gov. Hack to start using cannabis, or to stop liking beer, but we damn well do expect him to respect the express will of the People of Colorado; contrary to what the corporate media have misled people into believing, he hasn't -- the prohibitionists who still govern Colorado are pushing back hard against cannabis, people are still being made felons for cannabis, and people are even still dying because of our laws against cannabis.  Wake up!

RobertChase topcommenter

@Barneby Nitwit!  Mason is a canny political operative, highly skilled in exploiting what few opportunities can be snatched to get the truth out through the corporate media.  His point is well taken -- by those with the wit to understand it.  Gov. Hack's installation of beer-taps in the Executive Mansion was a perfect occasion to lampoon Hack's monumental hypocrisy in constantly pushing alcohol while wishing failure on the regulatory system for cannabis for which he is ultimately responsible.  If one has money to burn, like the fascist Koch brothers, one can deluge voters with slick TV ads; Mason uses the resources to hand, extremely well, and his approach is very much more cost-effective than that of the Koch's.


@Barneby Yet another HTH user name.  Call him what you want, he gets results which is more than you or any of your screen names can say.


@RobertChase  A lot of what people call high minded is in fact lower than low brow. What made Tvert so affective was that he came to a gun fight with a gun of his own. Now he comes with a Seltzer bottle and ham fisted theatrics. 

Sorry Robert, but you're wrong on this one. 


@Mule Sorry, not affiliated with the guy. 

I agree with you, he got results. Now he's just a clown. 


@Barneby @RobertChase According to what? He helps a lot of people end suffering and more..  And.. No guns, fists or seltzer bottles in it..your wrong "Barneby".

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