University of Colorado Officials Attempt To Sway Students Away From Campus’ Annual Pro-Marijuana Protest With Free Wyclef Jean Concert

Update: Even the Denver Post’s editorial board is critical of the University of Colorado’s decisions surrounding their efforts to retard the annual student protest against Cannabis Prohibition laws, notably trying to coerce students through the University’s Office of Student Conduct.

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A number of CU students and employees have forwarded NORML the below email circulated on the campus regarding the state’s flagship university’s massive annual 4/20 protest, and the attempts this year by school officials to both 1) intimidate students from participating in the very popular political rally and 2) to try to tempt them from participating by instead attending a free concert by popular recording artist Wyclef Jean.*

Hard to know what would make for the richer irony here: No one attending Wyclef’s free concert or huge numbers of students attending the university’s alternative 4/20 activity and protesting with their cannabis use?

*Is Wyclef and his fellow musicians actually playing for free, or, should CU students and the local media be asking questions of the CU administration on how much student tuition money is being used to thwart their first amendment activities with a supposedly ‘free’ concert?

Dear CU student:

As you know, your student government and the university administration would
like the disruptive, unnecessary and unsanctioned 4/20 gathering on the
CU-Boulder campus to end. With this in mind, please join us in taking key
steps this year to end 4/20.

We invite students who do not have Friday afternoon classes to attend the
free Wyclef Jean concert at the Coors Events Center, sponsored by CU Student
Government (CUSG) in partnership with Program Council.

The concert is for CU-Boulder students only. Doors open at 2 p.m. and will
close at 4 p.m. The concert is expected to end at 6 p.m. More information
on the concert will be e-mailed to students in coming weeks, so watch your
e-mail for upcoming announcements.

We also want to communicate some key changes and conditions that may impact
you or your peers on 4/20:

— Tickets will be issued for smoking marijuana on the Norlin Quad, or
anywhere on campus, prior to, during and after the gathering. Such tickets can
result in a $100 fine.

— Possession of a medical marijuana card does not entitle its holder to
smoke marijuana on campus, and in fact can result in revocation of the card.

— Alcohol policies will be strictly enforced throughout the campus.

— Students who receive tickets will be subject to a review process with the
Office of Student Conduct and if a student is found responsible, sanctions
will be issued. Additional sanctions will be levied by the Boulder County
and Boulder City courts.

— The federal Clery Act requires that the university maintain a publicly
accessible crime log. Those ticketed or arrested for violating CU rules
and state or local laws will have their names posted on the CU-Boulder
police website’s daily crime log, which could affect their employment futures.

— All classes and academic activities will go on as scheduled.

— Please do not invite friends or visitors to campus that day. Those not
affiliated with CU-Boulder are advised to avoid the campus entirely on 4/20.

— Plan ahead since extremely heavy traffic and long traffic jams are expected
on Broadway due to construction and along 28th Street due to overflow traffic.
University and City of Boulder guest parking will be virtually non-existent on
the CU-Boulder campus and in adjacent CU neighborhoods.

Please join the CU Student Government and the University in taking key steps
this year to end this disruptive, unsanctioned gathering on the CU-Boulder
campus. Your degree has value and your safety and your future matter to all
of us who are proud of the University of Colorado Boulder.


Deb Coffin, vice chancellor for student affairs

Karen Raforth, interim dean of students

Carly Robinson, CUSG internal vice president

46 thoughts

  1. Even more ironic….I once smoked up with Wyclef before a concert at our college, he’s a huge pothead!!


  2. My generation really dropped the ball for the your generation, students. Marijuana is only the least of the offenses.

    The worst are buying the notion that deficits don’t matter and waging two unfunded wars. No other generation in history ever stooped this low.

    If your student government really is involved in this, you need to elect a new one. Don’t tolerate it anymore, but NO violence. Anyone who preaches violence is NOT on your side. Think about it.

  3. I like when they tell you pro-marjuana protest is unnecessary. I don’t think anything has been more necessary in my lifetime.

  4. I hope that concert is completely empty and more people come out to this protest than ever before. Anyone in drivong distance should be there. And we should be there in force!

  5. “Those ticketed or arrested for violating CU rules
    and state or local laws will have their names posted on the CU-Boulder
    police website’s daily crime log, which could affect their employment futures.”

    These thugs makes threats like that — we’ll ruin your entire economic future over one joint — and then they expect the students they’re threatening like this to look up to them and respect them?

    What world do they think they’re living in?

  6. It could just be student activity fee money. That’s separate from tuition. They wouldn’t be lying if they said no then. Do you even know which section of the article I’m referring to? It ought to mention that students didn’t intend that the activity fee be used to fuck up their activist protest day and use of the police to fuck up their day even more. Their only function is to make sure the protest time is not violent, and it’s smoke it if you’ve got it, cops just look on and do nothing about it.

    Just try that with the same number of people partaking in booze. Yeah, bitches! You know that ain’t gonna be a piece a cake like the cannabis smoke-up activist protests. It’s a fuckin’ protest thing. They can’t very well peacefully protest behind four walls, can they?

    Just keep ’em safe. Don’t arrest them and let them have their day. My babies, my babies, just keep my babies safe!

  7. I LOL’d when I read the article but I LOL’d even harder when I seen

    “Alcohol policies will be strickly inforced at the Coors Beer Events Center”.

    Wonder if they have to drive from the concert?

    How screwed up is this? No weed, but hey, get’em tanked up and watch the carnage!

    I love the full quote “get’em tanked up and watch the carnage” from the comment on this article. David nearly made me spit my pop out when I read it.

  8. Instead of attending the pro-marijuana rally, please attend a concert at our venue that is sponsored by a beer company.

  9. Why don’t they hold the rally on 4/21? Before stoning me against the wall hear this out and think about it. The whole scheme set out by UC is to end the 4/20 rally. To achieve that end they are willing to blow an enormous amount of money with enticements and most likely, as the letter implies, hyped up security measures. But only on 4/20, to stop the 4/20 rally. So why not give them what they want. So Have your cake and eat it too. To help explain my idea let me tell you about a great moment in Occupy history, a moment that should be repeated in the UC situation.

    A while back one of the occupy camps learned something amazing. How to beat the police and never be evicted. What they did is leave when the police came and demanded they do so. Left all their stuff and walked away. All of them. In the same direction down a road. The police couldn’t flank or go around so all they could do was follow. And follow. And follow. Until all the police were to exhausted to even stand, wearing all that riot gear and such. Low and behold, they were back at the park but this time the police were too tired and worn down to evict them. So the police left. They just left. Because that sort of force is expensive and short lived. An assault like that, like the one CU is attempting, is very effective on a captive enemy. The police figured occupy had to stay where they were, they had to occupy. CU figures a 4/20 rally can only occur on 4/20. Stationary targets. But occupy learned they weren’t trapped, they had a whole city to occupy and they used it to their advantage. This is what CU students needs to realize and do.

    4/20 in an idea. Everyone tells a different story of how it started and what it means but the things is the truth behind it doesn’t matter any more because it’s a symbol. They could remove April 20th from the calender and 4:20 from the clocks but it wouldn’t change the power 4/20 holds as a symbol for those in the cannabis community.

    CU can afford a free concert one day, maybe two or three. They can amp up security for a few hours. But they cannot do it every day. If everyone moves the protest to another day without giving away the secret they could strike an amazing double whammy. They could capitalize on the “free” concert they are paying for while tricking the faculty into thinking they won and then crushing that with the reality that we will not be bought or bullied. Get to have your cake and eat it too.

    Just an idea.

  10. funny how they’re against 4/20, yet their free show is at the COORS ALCOHOLIC BEER arena… ironic.

  11. I’ll bet that Deb Coffin, vice chancellor for student affairs; Karen Raforth, interim dean of students; and Carly Robinson, CUSG internal vice president will make it for at least part of the annual 4/20 gathering. They just don’t want students to attend. Take pictures if any of them show and ask how anyone can expect for an informed debate to take place when one side wants to prevent the opposition from finding out about this topic. For a democracy to work all voters need to be able to obtain accurate information from all sides. Ask yourself what it is that they are afraid that you will learn by attending and by all means do not let them sway you from making your own decision. These people are like the head of the DEA who is not allowed by federal statute, in his job description, to debate all sides of the marijuana legalization issue. Would you expect to find this tactic in Stalin’s Russia or Hitler’s Germany? Is use of this tactic part of our heritage as a democracy? This is an opportunity to experience how those who cannot debate a topic by factual information will use threats and intimidation to make their point. Shame on Deb, Karen, and Carly.

  12. New episode of American Weed on NGCHD = Natgeo
    April 4th, 2012.

    Just loving it.

    Norml should add a section for Weed tv show airings, there are quite a few of them.

    It’ll help spread knowledge as well.

  13. It is sort of bizarre that the University of Colorado at Boulder would try to divert attention from the annual April 20th tradition that is so well known.

    First, CU-Boulder has a solid academic reputation but also a culture that one might describe as “hippie-ish” in its flavor, very liberal and progressive, much like UC-Berkeley. Learning, both academic and social is much about individual growth and an eye-opening sojourn into the discrepancy between childhood versions of American history and a better informed understanding of the current state of affairs.

    Second, the 4-20 event in Boulder is part of what makes the school unique from other institutions; different from the factory-mold of many other schools. Many who attend CU-Boulder do so because of that spirit embodied in the studentry, of idealism instead of values buried under greed. This is what Ghandi and MLK espoused, to non-violently protest against injustice and corruption.

    Why would CU even bother trying to stop a harmless event where the students have an opportunity to engage in unique social dynamic of common understanding and community cohesion, in order to protest without words against injustice and corruption (cannabis prohibition) that has gone on for far too long?

    They’re trying to make CU-Boulder as run-on-the-mill as CU-Denver or CU-CO Springs, apparently. In which case they would lose many out-of-state students and their out-of-state tuition which heavily supports a state institution (they pay about 10 times as much?)

    If you ever visit the school, you’ll notice why it was voted several times as one of the big “party” schools in the country, by Playboy magazine. Binge drinking is rampant, especially on “the Hill” where many riots have taken taken place over the years. Drunken riots. They should have a headlining concert every weekend to curb the binge drinking.

    And they should not interfere with people who are free to take massive bong hits if they want, regardless of what Big Brother-Pretend Parent govt. claims (which is a pile of BS)

  14. @Jules – I love your post! That is a great idea which shows true intelligence; Unlike the idiocy shown by the school and law enforcement!!!

  15. @John – Regarding American Weed

    I’ve been extremely interested in that show. I found myself getting very angry at the morons that put up the campaign to close the Medical Marijuana shops. It is really sad that their lies rhetoric won out in Colorado over the truth…

    Their big slogan was “Don’t let our town go to pot”. Exactly what does that mean anyway??? It pisses me off!

  16. This is it yall. This will show the truth. If there is a huge turn out for the 5/20 then we when if there a large or even small turn out at this concert then we lose

  17. “Possession of a medical marijuana card does not entitle its holder to
    smoke marijuana on campus, and in fact can result in revocation of the card.”

    How can a criminal proceeding affect someone’s right to a prescription drug that they require?? That doesn’t seem legal at all.

  18. Boulder city is actually gonna devote resources to prosecuting alcohol tickets issued on a college campus..?! Yea right!

  19. I hope Wyclef plays his song ‘Something About Mary’ at this concert.
    “I dont sniff cocaine,
    cuz it mess up my brain,
    for sexual stimulation,
    I never did no ecstacy,
    I dont pop pills,
    I never did no LSD,
    But I wouldn’t mind one kiss,
    From Mrs. Mary!!!!!”
    Maybe Diallo too… for the police. if anyone knows what I’m sayin. Vampires! 🙂

  20. It is not going to happen that a Wyclef concert would interrupt a tradition and the hypocrisy that a beer company sponsors the concert will make more people come to the Pro Cannabis rally. Such idiots!

  21. I hope both events are packed and smoke up at 4:20 I’ll be waiting to see it on youtube and laughing my ass off.

  22. “Marijuana is bad, come to this concert at this alcohol-corporation-invested stadium instead”, really?

  23. Does anyone know someone planning to attend the concert and not the protest? Even people that aren’t big on legalization should attend because this is more about our rights and freedoms than a drug or concert.

  24. Why not just take 420 to the concert? That would stump their plans pretty good just invade them.

  25. Yeah, because this email around totally isn’t going to only make people more likely to go to the 4/20 rally.

    If I attended college there I know I sure as hell make doubly sure that I was at the rally after reading something like this. I mean I’d be there normally if I lived anywhere near there, but telling a bunch of young adults who are passionate about a topic and pissed at the way it’s treated “Hey, we find your support of this issue inconvenient, so just go do something that doesn’t annoy us so we can ignore you.”

    I can basically guarantee that this won’t do anything whatsoever except piss people off and get even more people to show up for the rally. I’d say there would be a possibility of things getting out of hand if the university attempts to go through with their threats, but maybe the weed they’re trying so hard to stomp out will make all the protesters peaceful enough that the last thing they’d want to do is get violent.

  26. If more than a few people show up at that concert it will give us another loss. EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE ON THAT HILL!!!

  27. I wonder if the band knows about this, and if they did, if they’d be willing to pause/forgo the concert to enjoy a foray into the 4/20 celebration. Nothing would send a clearer message than an empty ALCOHOL sponsored auditorium.

  28. The easiest solution is for Wyclef and his band to announce before the concert that they will play there and will also play at the 420 event, and arrange for that event to start a couple of hours late. Then party all night with the band!

  29. Show up and protest!! Everyday!! What is all the cops cost? I am sure they budget each year, city and school for this day. Everyone line up and get the ticket. Then all show up at court. Post my name on line? Make sure it says, “All persons are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law” Is the person who wrote this for CU a lawyer? They are asking for a large turn out. I am sure some DEA are already in town for medical policing. Don’t forget ATF! what about the CIA. Wow, those folks havent had to follow any hippies around since the 70’s.

  30. How a$$ backwards is this school?
    Coors BEERS Events Center
    “FREE” concert.
    W T F is going on here…Wyclef Jean?
    Lost some major respect for that man, hope it’s worth the $$$.

  31. If only the student gov. could see how much they’re fueling this protest. They’re only encouraging the very thing they don’t want students to do. Rightfully assemble.

    The really hysterical thing about it all is how they want everyone to, instead, go get drunk at the “Coors” event center. The people in charge of this must be really ignorant to what they’re doing. I wish I lived in Boulder and could go to this. Best of luck CU protesters! Light one for those of us that can’t make it! 🙂

  32. Huh… public university, on public land, paid for by our taxes. I could give two craps about smoking pot or not, and I am a student, but still to be cited for a trespassing ticket being on a campus my tax dollars support seems wrong.

  33. It seems really wrong how hard cupd works to hand out mj related tickets when they cant even stop the employees from smoking.

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