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CU's 4/20 Smoke-Out to Be Preceded by 2-Day Marijuana

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
BOULDER, Colo. -- The annual 4/20 event at the University of Colorado will grow into a three-day affair this year as student organizers plan to hold a marijuana-themed symposium the weekend preceding the traditional campus smoke-out.

NORML@CU, the campus chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, is hosting the National Forum on Marijuana on the Boulder campus on April 18 and 19.

On April 20, at exactly 4:20 p.m., thousands of marijuana enthusiasts are expected to congregate on campus to smoke pot en masse; last year, an estimated 10,000 smokers filled CU's Norlin Quadrangle.

Wednesday, student organizers -- who are trying to line up an appearance by U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder -- said they'd like to use the annual smoke-out to bring intelligent debate to campus on the issues surrounding marijuana.

It's going to be a conversation surrounding all areas of the topic," said junior Alex Douglas, executive director of NORML@CU. "We will be hosting panels and discussions ranging from hemp to current marijuana laws to cultural cannabis icons.

We'll finish with a debate over the criminalization or legalization of marijuana."

CU officials have been quite vocal about their dislike of the 4/20 event. But spokesman Bronson Hilliard said the planned forum in another matter altogether.

This appears to be a very extensive and comprehensive set of discussions," Hilliard said. "What impresses me is that they've invited people from both sides to speak on the issue."

Hilliard stressed, however, that CU's support of the forum doesn't mean the university agrees with opinions that will be expressed. He also encouraged NORML@CU to consider dissuading students from attending the April 20 event.

Have the symposium and debate with our enthusiastic blessing - and ditch the silliness of the huge smoke-out," Hilliard said.

Douglas, the NORML campus director, said the two-day forum is designed to help empower students to be active citizens and make their own decisions regarding marijuana issues.

To that end, a number of guest speakers -- both for and against the legalization and use of marijuana -- have been invited to candidly discuss their views.

Mason Tvert, executive director of SAFER Colorado, a Denver-based marijuana advocacy organization, praised the event's organizers.

I think these students are doing a great job making ( 4/20 ) an event that is based on advocacy rather than use," Tvert said.

Tvert is among several confirmed guests. Others include Allen St. Pierre, executive director of NORML; Steve Bloom, director of CelebStoner.com and fomer editor of High Times magazine; and retired Lafayette judge Brian Vicente.

Student organizers said they've also been talking to Polis' staff, and believe they'll be able to get the Boulder congressman to deliver a keynote address on marijuana issues within the political sphere

Polis' staff, however, did not confirm that.

Communications director Lara Cottingham said in an e-mail that, "Congressman Polis is traveling that weekend and will not be attending any events in Colorado."

News Hawk: User: 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: Colorado Daily (Boulder, CO)
Copyright: 2009 New Colorado Daily, Inc.
Contact: letters@coloradodaily.com
Website: Colorado Daily: Boulder News, Issues, Entertainment, Culture, People
Author: Lance Vaillancourt
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