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This year’s CPAC also will reduce the time for formal speeches on the main stage in the hotel’s vast ballroom and give more time for concurrent 90-minute “audience interaction” sessions — five on Thursday and six on Friday — in more intimate meeting rooms.

Conference organizers say the idea is to let conservatives directly exchange ideas with other activists, politicians and analysts.

One such “forward-looking, youth-oriented” breakout session is titled “Rocky Mountain High: Does Legalized Pot Mean Society’s Going Up in Smoke?” Panelists for this debate are not expected to break out their own inhaleables or invite the audience to “smoke ’em if you have ’em,” conference officials said.

Others will take on more traditional issues such as “Can There Be Meaningful Immigration Reform Without Citizenship?” and “The Death of American Privacy: Does It Matter If the Government Records Every Phone Call, E-mail and Text You Send?”

CPAC this year is eliminating one of the two traditional banquets in a bow to younger activists who find such events stodgy.

The annual Ronald Reagan Award Dinner will be held Friday. In place of the Thursday banquet will be an evening bash with a 1960s theme to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American Conservative Union. The band Carolina Liar will entertain.

Between speeches on the main stage will be performances by Chip Murray, Michaelantonio, Ann & John and Annie Marie Harpen, and Lis Mei — names presumably familiar to CPAC coordinator Paul Erickson, who managed Pat Buchanan’s rowdy presidential primary challenge to President George H.W. Bush.

Also scheduled is an appearance by Donald Trump. Organizers were speculating whether he would be there to address the audience or buy the hotel — or both.

The fast-paced Saturday agenda will feature a 2:05–2:45 p.m. panel on “More Guns, Less Crime: How Law Enforcement Is Beginning to Embrace a Well-Armed Civilian Population” and a 2:46-3:26 p.m. panel on “Health Care After Obama: A Practical Guide for Living When No One Has Insurance and America Runs Out of Doctors.”

Nothing as big as CPAC exists without internal and external strife. Competing events within shouting distance of the Gaylord will be sponsored by groups that say CPAC is too right-wing or not right-wing enough. Some notables will speak at CPAC and then at the competing events across the street.

CPAC says its motto, like that of the conservative movement, is “Long Live Dissent.”