CHEEBAdanza dances its way back to campus once again

By Mari Mejia

While CHEEBA’s plans for a Mactastic 4/20 fest went up in smoke in 2006, this year all systems are a go.CHEEBAdanza is a yearly festival put on by the student organization CHEEBA (Creating a Harmless Environment to Enjoy Buds Appropriately).

“The event is about trying to get a sensible dialogue started on marijuana policy in Minnesota and the U.S. as a whole,” CHEEBA officer Brian Martucci ’09 said. “CHEEBA advocates decriminalizing marijuana, and while it’s essentially decriminalized for personal use in Minnesota, that’s not the case in most other states and, regardless, there’s still something of a stigma attached to its use.”

However, sometimes holding a CHEEBAdanza can prove to be just as hard as convincing a cop that smoking pot is not a crime. In spring 2006, CHEEBA had a blazing festival in the works, replete with dodge ball, a bonfire and a pig roast. It was even advertised as “the Twin Cities’ premier marijuana festival” across the Twin Cities.

It was that publicity, though, that set the event up in flame. The Pioneer Press wrote an article featuring the event and its creators in a mocking light, titled “It’s, like, a pot fest, Dude.”

One day before the event, Macalester decided to call the whole thing off, fearing that the event’s publicity implied that Macalester supports student use of marijuana.

CHEEBAdanza never officially got off the ground last year, but this time around, Martucci said, CHEEBA is hoping to revitalize its mostly-annual fest.

“We’re trying to be more inclusive with other orgs and whatnot to broaden the event’s appeal and get more people to come,” he said.

Fresh Concepts, the DJ Club, and Mac Object Manipulators (the juggling club) will perform and Jimmy John’s or Famous Dave’s will cater. There will also be literature available advocating the decriminalization of marijuana.

Besides participating in the aforementioned activities, students also have the option to just kick back and relax.

“Some hard chilling on the lawn-hopefully it’ll be bright and sunny-is definitely encouraged,” Martucci said. “Frisbees, footballs, and soccer balls are not going to be frowned upon.”

All in all, the festival is looking to be pretty dope.

“[It’ll be a] laid-back campus event,” Martucci said. “People feel comfortable hanging out and, hopefully, learning a little bit about marijuana policy while they’re at it.

“If it wasn’t such a cliché I’d tell people to come to CHEEBAdanza because it’s going to be a sweet time with lots of good people and cool performances.