Welcome to the Shroomery Message Board! You are experiencing a small sample of what the site has to offer. Please login or register to post messages and view our exclusive members-only content. You'll gain access to additional forums, file attachments, board customizations, encrypted private messages, and much more!
You win some, you lose some. While CU-Boulder has fallen out of the top 20 of the Princeton Review's "party school" rankings, on Tuesday it found itself ranked the "No. 1 Cannabis College" in the country by High Times magazine, a periodical devoted to all things hempish.
At least one of the magazine's staff thinks the ranking might be related to the pot referendum CU students passed during spring elections asking that CU make its school penalties for marijuana use lesser or equal to those for alcohol.
"I think that it's really significant that the students stood up for their own rights to try and protect themselves from invasion of their privacy to do what they choose to do as students," said Steve Bloom, editor of High Times.
In the Princeton Review rankings released Tuesday, CU did not make the top 20 lists for "party schools," "reefer madness," "lots of beer" or "students almost never study." Last year it was No. 9, No. 16, No. 15 and No. 7 in those categories, respectively.
Bloom said another reason for this year's No. 1 ranking was the recent selection of Boulder as being the No. 2 ranked city in the country for marijuana use in a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
"There's just a good reputation over the years for the University of Colorado as the place to go if you lean a little bit to the left, and you're kind of liberal and you really want to go to a cool school," he said.
Bob Maust, head of the Matter of Degree program, an alcohol education program at CU, said no credibility can be given to rankings such as those in High Times or in the Princeton Review.
"It's, at best, a joke," he said.
Maust, however, doesn't dismiss the use of marijuana by CU students.
He cited a 2004 survey done by the Harvard School of Public Health on CU students in which 30 percent of the student body said they had used marijuana in the last 30 days, compared to 18 percent at other large public universities.
"It is certainly something that is very prevalent in the larger culture, so I would expect that it is also something that is part of the student culture," said Maust.
He said that CU has tried to be "thoughtful" and "reasonable" in its response to marijuana on campus, using the example that the school has not used any type of "massive law enforcement response" to activities on 4/20, a day in April that has become a holiday for pot-smokers.
Lt. Tim McGraw, public information officer for the CU Police Department, said legal penalties are "quantity dependent," and if a person is caught with less than an ounce of marijuana, he or she can be written a ticket and fined $100.
A student may also be referred to CU's Office of Judicial Affairs.
"There are several a year where we deal with instances of marijuana," said McGraw about CU students. "Typically they average between 50 and 80 a year when we actually cite somebody for (possessing or using) it."
Mason Tvert, executive director of Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER), a Boulder based non-profit organization helping CU students lobby for revised CU sanctions for student marijuana use - the group wants them to be the same as for alcohol use - is impressed with the ranking.
"I think it demonstrates the sensibility of the students of the University of Colorado-Boulder, that they often choose to use a much safer substance than alcohol when they're partying, and that's marijuana," he said.
Tvert said the No. 1 ranking provides CU with an opportunity to put into place an "innovative policy," rewriting penalties for marijuana to be no stricter than penalties for alcohol.
"Whether they are over 21 or under 21, we don't encourage them to use marijuana, but we do think it makes sense to allow those students to make a safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol," he said.
Ron Stump, vice chancellor for student affairs at CU, said such rankings are subjective and therefore a cause for skepticism.
He said it is more of a marketing ploy by the authors of the publications to sell their product.
"It doesn't have anything of substance to it other than somebody's opinion that, 'hey this is going on and there's a reputation there, let's make them No. 1,'" said Stump. "It's kind of bogus."