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Courtesy of Rosanne Wickman
Remembering G. Fred Wickman: Journalist, Professor and Mentor
Melissa Reeves, Guest Writer • May 16, 2024

On April 27, 2024, former Kansas City Star columnist, UMKC professor and U-News (now called Roo News) advisor G. Fred Wickman passed away after...

Kansas City has a chance to advance to the Summit League Championship for the first time since 2011.
Roos Softball Advances to Championship Semifinal
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  Kansas City has thrilled viewers in the first three games of the Summit League Softball Championship.   Entering as the third seed,...

A picture of the posters on the University Walkway.
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Aurora Wilson and Maisy Blanton April 29, 2024

  Over 150 students showed up to participate in a protest in solidarity with Palestine and other protests across the nation on Monday.   Around...

Amidst the festive spirit of St. Patricks Day, the iconic symbol of luck, the clover, reminds us of the rich traditions and celebrations honoring Irish heritage.
Exploring St. Patrick's Day Alternatives in Kansas City
Aydan Stigler and Grace Beshore March 14, 2024

  The annual St. Patrick's Day celebration is just around the corner, and with celebration comes large crowds.    The annual city parade...

Visit the City Market to explore local vendors.
Smart Saving Strategies for a Wallet-Friendly Spring Break
Emily Wheeler, Staff Writer • March 14, 2024

  UMKC students are ready for the upcoming week-long spring break, but are their wallets?   From travel adventures to staycations, spring...

Higher Education in Missouri: How students are Addressing 4/20 in 2024

Students share their current and past experiences centered around cannabis and every stoners favorite holiday.
Higher Education in Missouri: How students are Addressing 4/20 in 2024
Dominick Love

  The “dopest” day of the year occurred this Saturday on April 20, 2024, also known as 4/20.

  Occurring only once every millennium, the date 4/20/2024 is also a palindrome. Read forwards or backwards, the numbers have the same meaning.

  The term “420” started gaining traction as a term for consuming cannabis in California in the 1970’s. Since then, it has evolved into a worldwide, unofficial day of celebration for the plant. 

  The United States is seeing a shift in the acceptance of cannabis use, with conservative states like Missouri evolving from decriminalizing the plant, to allowing medicinal use, to recreational use. 

  Students are seeing and discussing an increase in their use since legalization, and excitement for this green holiday has grown. 

  Biology major Hayden McKennon has previously participated in 420 activities and advocates for cannabis through his personal use.

  “I use it to relax without feeling like I’m creating a dependence or addiction,” McKennon said. “If individuals were not trying to reach that Snoop Dogg or Cheech and Chong high on their first try, and instead microdosed, they’d be more likely to enjoy it.”

  McKennon described his first 4/20 as “unforgettable”– experiencing a “green out” after eating a high dosage of edibles his body was not used to. This elevated rollercoaster did not deter future use. His go to munchie snack is fresh fruit, specifically strawberries. 

  Business major Favin Watson remembers their first 4/20 experience as “an out of body revelation” that gave way to wanting to understand the herb more.

  “My first 4/20, I had hit the penjamin 10 times and they were all blinker,” Watson said.  

  Watson said their understanding of common misconceptions and the idea of a “gateway” drug improved through their use. 

  “Non-smokers see users as unproductive or lazy, but it really depends on the person and the strain being used,” Watson said. “I don’t see cannabis as a gateway drug, but instead as a medicinal herb that has been deeply stigmatized through religious opposition.”

  Psychology major Nya Redman described her first 4/20 as a green out, and advises people to take it slow if they choose to use the plant.

  “I have continued to participate.” Nya said. “We can’t generalize users, because my lower tolerance at the time was different from those I was around, which made me realize to smoke at my own pace.”

  Student mentor at Northwestern Missouri University and brand ambassador for holistic health brand Hi Bros, April Renee has been participating in 4/20 since the age of 18.

  “We try to smoke as much as possible– roll as many gorilla pinkies as possible, and pull out all the fancy glass pieces,” Renee said. “It’s truly an annual weed olympics.” 

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