In Case You Missed It | Benson’s gone to pot

CU President Bruce Benson
none | Boulder Weekly

So Amendment 64 passes, and all of a sudden Republican CU President Bruce Benson gets up on his high horse when it comes to the morality of marijuana.

This from a man who, according to The New York Times, was arrested twice for drunk driving in the early 1980s and reportedly threatened his former wife.

So good for Rep. Jared Polis for calling Benson out on his claim that CU is going to lose a bunch of federal money due to the legalization of small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

We especially liked the part in Benson’s Dec. 8 message to alumni whining about the pot measure when he rips publications like Playboy and the Princeton Review for giving CU such high party school rankings over the past decade. He says the publications “use research methodology that would earn them an ‘F’ in any CU class.”

With all due respect, we don’t think good ol’ boy Bruce knows the word “methodology.” One of his PR hacks probably wrote this attempt at eloquent speech.

Unlike university presidents of yesteryear, who were actual academics who held Ph.D.s, Benson is an oilman who has a mere B.A. in geology, and his mishaps during his CU interview process include referring to people with disabilities as “handicaps” not once, but twice, according to The Denver Post.

So it’s hard to swallow when a guy of this caliber attempts to wax eloquent about the evils of weed and the financial harms it might bring. As Polis said when he rightly ripped Benson for fear-mongering, the legality of marijuana will not affect CU any more than the legality of alcohol.

Have a stiff drink, Bruce. Or even better, a puff. And chill out.


Speaking of puritan stiffs who get their panties in a wad when it comes to marijuana, we weren’t exactly surprised to see Boulder City Attorney Tom Carr opposing the idea of retail pot shops in town proper — emphasis on proper.

Boulder City Attorney Tom Carr

Carr was basically lobbying for a ban against marijuana stores at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, and luckily he was suppressed, for now. Amendment 64, passed by Colorado voters in the Nov. 6 election, allows municipalities to exempt themselves from the legalization measure.

Carr’s reputation preceded him when he was hired, as evidenced by a Boulder Weekly story the month he started on the job. He became notorious in his previous job as Seattle city attorney not just for going too far when it came to stifling constitutional free speech rights, but for battling bars and night life. A former city council member there called Carr’s behavior on a marijuana enforcement panel “shocking,” “inappropriate” and “very rude.”

Our city attorney obviously has an agenda, an ax to grind. We’re not saying he doesn’t have the right to his pious values, which likely came from his attending Catholic schools from grade school through college.

We’re just wondering whether Carr is a good fit for a community like Boulder and its progressive values.