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420 at UCSC: A Public Demonstration in Support of Cannabis Thousands of people, though not as many as in previous years, returned to Porter Meadow at UC Santa Cruz on April 20, 2014 (also Easter Sunday) to celebrate 420, the unorganized annual counterculture holiday. All these people have at least one thing in common; a love for smoking cannabis.

Similar to 420 in 2012 and 2013 at UCSC, many people preferred to be under the forest canopy bordering the meadow. In addition to smoking cannabis and socializing, people enjoyed live marching bands as well as music bumping from speakers under the trees, slacklining, hula hooping, and taking pictures with friends.

As in previous years, UC police officers surveilled the celebration, and men in orange vests documented attendees with video and still cameras.

imc_photo.gifRead more with Photos

Previous coverage of 420 at UC Santa Cruz: 2007: A Portrait: 420 at UC Santa Cruz || 2008: Thousands of Students Celebrate 420 in Porter Meadow at UCSC || 2009: Four Twenty at UC Santa Cruz imc_photo.gif (Photos) || 2010: Gatherings on 4/20, International Day of Marijuana Celebration || 2011: 420 Cannabis Celebration at UC Santa Cruz || 2012: Thousands Celebrate Cannabis at Annual 420 Festival at UCSC || 2013: Four Twenty 2013 in Porter Meadow at UC Santa Cruz
Steve Pleich writes: There has been much discussion over the last several months concerning the wisdom of having a fully functional Needle Exchange Program in our community. Many have expressed doubts about the public health benefits of such a program, but a clear-eyed and dispassionate analysis of those benefits has been subsumed by an overriding public safety concern.
Are Public Safety "Activists" Planning to Shame Drug Addicts and Needle Users? Public safety "activists" in Santa Cruz recently began planning a protest against those they believe are creating hypodermic needle waste in outdoor and natural areas locally. One individual has suggested shaming clients outside of the county's needle exchange, where drug users may obtain clean needles when they turn in used ones. When proposing a possible protest in the Facebook group "Needle Free Zone - Santa Cruz County," Chris Brown suggested, "What about taking pictures of those going in and out and posting them to a web site in an effort to shame them? I admit it seems rather creepy and low but????"

Some members of Needle Free Zone Santa Cruz County say they are still angry that in March, members of Take Back Santa Cruz "softened" down a protest march that went from from Harvey West to City Hall. The protest was originally to include a stop by the Homeless Services Center (HSC), which Samantha Olden said was supported by Ken "Skindog" Collins.

The idea to stop at the HSC was scrapped. Olden said the protest was, "softened up into the event that took place." Other individuals expressed anger and frustration regarding their own efforts. Kim Gardner said, "obviously pictures and data and speaking at meetings aren't changing anything." "People NEED to get their needle bubble popped," Meriah Campbell said. "Cleaning isn't working," Janell Whiting said.

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10-Year Anniversary of the WAMM Raid Valerie Leveroni Corral writes: "10 years ago at the break of dawn, awakened by the stomp of heavy booted agents, WAMM was raided by 30 DEA agents. Mike and I were taken into custody; chainsaw wielding agents cut the entire garden down, WAMM members blocked the gate, locking agents behind, and WAMM members and supporters bargaining for our release. What followed changed the course of medical marijuana, circumventing the government’s strategy to eliminate patient service organizations, legal under California state law. Santa Cruz City and County enjoined WAMM members in a lawsuit that resulted in a settlement, allowing WAMM to continue our service as the only collective sanctioned by the federal government. With deep gratitude, I thank our attorneys who labored diligently for patient rights to access medicine and for our freedom.

"To this day we serve patient needs engaging a social model of patient care through building community. As a patient based organization, we respond to need by caring for each other from within what might otherwise be a marginalized population. We provide space for members, grow all of our organic medicine, and make all of our products. Instead we are mighty, even providing care for our members as they face death."

Read More | imc_photo.gifFirst Harvest of 2012 for Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM)

Previous Coverage: Defiant Santa Cruz Distributes Medical Marijuana || WAMM March for Medical Marijuana || Medical Marijuana, Hemp and Music Festival || WAMM Collective Wins Prestigious Award, Survives Wildfire || WAMM Remains Vigilant While Settling Case Against Feds || World Premiere Screening of WAMM Documentary
Thousands Celebrate Cannabis at Annual 420 Festival at UCSC On Friday, April 20th, thousands of people descended upon Porter Meadow at UC Santa Cruz for Four Twenty (420), a counterculture holiday observed in cities throughout the world, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis.

Cannabis is recognized as medicine by the state of California, 17 other states in the USA, Washington DC, and a growing number of people and governments all over the world.

Four Twenty in Porter Meadow at UCSC is an unorganized annual tradition. Last year, rain caused people to seek shelter under the forest canopy. This year, it was the hot sun which drove people to the shade provided by the trees.

imc_photo.gifRead more and view photos

Previous coverage of 420 at UC Santa Cruz: 2007: A Portrait: 420 at UC Santa Cruz || 2008: Thousands of Students Celebrate 420 in Porter Meadow at UCSC || 2009: Four Twenty at UC Santa Cruz imc_photo.gif (Photos) || 2010: Gatherings on 4/20, International Day of Marijuana Celebration || 2011: 420 Cannabis Celebration at UC Santa Cruz
DEA and IRS Raid Oaksterdam University in Oakland On April 2nd, law enforcement agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the U.S. Marshals Service raided the home and businesses of licensed medical cannabis provider and activist Richard Lee in Oakland. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) put out a call for patients and advocates to go to Oaksterdam University in downtown Oakland to protest the raids and support the victims. At least two people were arrested in the street while the raid continued, including Jose Gutierrez, a correspondent for KPFA.

Of the raid, Richard Lee wrote, "President Obama promised at the beginning of his administration to respect state medical marijuana laws. He has broken this promise time and time again -- and the consequences have been devastating. This was a senseless act of intimidation. But I've been an activist far too long to become intimidated -- and with the majority of Americans and common sense on our side, I know this is a fight we can win. With our government trillions in debt, why is our government using taxpayer dollars to come after me, Oaksterdam, and the thousands of patients who need medical marijuana just to get through the day? Tell President Obama and the DEA: Enough is enough. Keep your campaign promise, and stop the raids on the medical cannabis industry!" Richard Lee has since announced that he will be stepping away from Oaksterdam University as he expects the U.S. government to continue with their attacks against him by pursuing federal criminal charges.

photo Read More: 1 | 2 | 3

See Also: Oaksterdam Raided. Can you hear me now? || An Open Letter to the cowards that raided Oaksterdam (and Tainted too) || Day of Anger: SF Advocates Protest Federal Marijuana Raids || Letter To Obama: End The Assault On Medical Marijuana || Local, State Officials Decry Federal Attacks on Medical Marijuana || Raid’s toll too high: Feds crack down on legal business as gunman kills 7

Previous Coverage: Medical Cannabis-Related Ballot Initiatives in Berkeley and Oakland || 4/12/05: Oakland City Council Public Safety Committee Reflects on Medical Cannabis || Community Gathers to Defend Hope Net from DEA Agents || DEA Raids Eight Bay Area Locations || Patients and Supporters Rally for Sanctuary City in Berkeley || DEA Targets East Bay Supplier of Edible Medical Cannabis Products
Hundreds Protest Drug War & Mass Incarceration Hundreds of people turned out at San Francisco City Hall on Friday, June 17th, to participate in the "Communities Rising to End the Drug War and Mass Incarceration" rally and march to protest the 40 year "war on drugs" and continued criminalization of the poor, the addicted and communities of color.

The protest then marched to the state and federal buildings nearby. Working and poor people struggling with addiction fill the prisons and jails of the US. This country has the dubious distinction of having the largest per capita incarcerated population in the world. Protesters called for drug policy reform that would emphasize rehabilitation versus the current policy based on punitive measures. They also demanded human rights for prisoners isolated in the notorious Pelican Bay Prison in Northern California.

photo Photos: 1 | 2 | SF Bay View coverage | DrugPolicyReform.org
Activist San Diego Screens Medical Cannabis Film A new film, Medical Cannabis and Its Impact on Human Health, exposes the lies about the medical use of marijuana that led the San Diego City Council to enact a virtual ban on dispensaries in the city. Director James Schmachtenberger, who works at a local dispensary, appeared with the film on April 30th at a showing sponsored by Activist San Diego. The film is a bit dry, and even Schmachtenberger describes it as not especially entertaining, but it lays out the facts about marijuana's medical uses and makes the case for allowing the substance to be used to treat disease and preserve health.

The aim of the film was to counteract the claims of dumb politicians and so-called “prevention experts” who pounce on all uses of cannabis as evil — and make wildly false claims to do so.

“Our approach was to talk to the experts … traveling up and down the state for interviews with the professionals,” explained Schmachtenberger.

“We released it only two months ago, and it has gone viral, seen in 62 countries,” he reported.

Read more | MarijuanaMovie.org
Mon Apr 18 2011 (Updated 04/26/11) April 20 at UCSC, "Keep Santa Cruz Stoned"
420 Cannabis Celebration at UC Santa Cruz April 20, aka 420, is the international day to gather with friends and strangers to celebrate cannabis. The year is 2011 and more people than ever are stepping out of the "Cannabis Closet" to reduce cultural stigmas around the use of cannabis, and to promote all of its many positive uses for food, fuel, fiber and medicine.

Thousands of people converged on Porter Meadow at UC Santa Cruz. People adapted to the drizzle throughout the afternoon and took shelter in the woodlands and under redwoods surrounding the meadow. As in past years, UCSC police and administration restricted access by only allowing people with UCSC identification to drive onto campus.

imc_photo.gifPhotos: Thousands Celebrate Four Twenty in the Forest at UC Santa Cruz

Announcement: 420 at UCSC | 420 in People's Park, Berkeley | 420 with Ed Rosenthal in S.F. | A year later... we still miss Jack Herer... R.I.P. Old Friend | 2010 coverage: Gatherings on 4/20, International Day of Marijuana Celebration
San Diego Hammers Down on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Despite Public Support The San Diego City Council spent nearly six hours on Monday, March 28th listening to public input and debating a proposed permit process for medical marijuana dispensaries — and passed, with only slight changes, a measure that dispensary members and their supporters say amounts to a virtual ban. Though public speakers in support of giving medical marijuana users safe access to the substance through collectives far outnumbered opponents at each stage of the process — at the Planning Commission and the City Council’s committees as well as the Council itself — the Council listened to the voices of advocates of the so-called "war on drugs" and enacted an ordinance that would make it virtually impossible for dispensaries to locate anywhere in the city of San Diego.

Medical marijuana supporters — including patients who use dispensaries as well as their managers and attorneys, as well as volunteer activists — organized a massive campaign they called "Stop the Ban" to try to get the Council to adopt a looser regulation along the lines suggested by the Council's Medical Marijuana Task Force. They packed the hearings before the Planning Commission and Council committees. They got constituents to write up to 3,000 letters to Councilmembers — the largest letter-writing campaign directed at the Council, according to organizer Ben Cisneros. And they staged a demonstration on the day of the Council meeting that drew up to 500 people, beginning at the Federal Building downtown and moving to the outside of San Diego City Hall.

imc_photo.gifRead more and view photos | San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access
New Poll Shows California Marijuana Initiative With 52% Support A new poll released Thursday by the Public Policy Institute of California shows Proposition 19 — the statewide initiative to control and tax cannabis (marijuana) — leading 52-41, with just 7 percent of likely voters still undecided.

"Controlling and taxing cannabis is polling higher than anything else on California's ballot, including the gubernatorial and Senate candidates, as well as all the other initiatives," said Richard Lee, a proponent of Prop. 19. "If anyone needed more proof that the voters are way ahead of the politicians on this issue, they just got it. This should serve as a real wake up call to those politicians who still think they can somehow score political points by supporting continued prohibition." Read more

See also: Proposition 19 - Yes, Yes! | imc_video.gifBud’s Blog: Cannabis standards, self-regulation urged at INTCHE | imc_audio.gifSpecial 4:20 Cafe on La Onda Bajita: Vote Yes on Prop 19! | imc_audio.gifLegalize It 2010 Prop 19 | Chronicle editorial suffers from chronic lapses in logic | Bud’s Blog: Stoner stereotypes hamper Prop. 19 debate | Marijuana Initiative Could Generate $1.4 Billion | Jack Herer would Support Prop 19
ASA Santa Cruz County Holds First Fundraiser at Trout Farm Inn On August 28th, the new Santa Cruz County chapter of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) held a fundraiser in Felton. It was the local chapter's first public event.

Americans for Safe Access, based in Oakland, is the largest member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens working to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic uses and research. ASA works in partnership with state, local and national legislators to create policies that improve access to medicinal marijuana for both patients and researchers. ASA claims to have over 30,000 active members with chapters and affiliates in more than 40 states.

Gail, a member of the Wo/Man's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) who was born with glaucoma and is blind, was grateful for the opportunity to meet and socialize with others who benefit, physically and mentally, from cannabis. As an eighteen year old student at UC Santa Cruz, Gail was passed a joint for the first time. That is when she discovered that marijuana eases the pain she experiences from glaucoma. imc_photo.gifRead more and view photos
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The Marijuana Citation and Arrests Records That the Measure K Commitee Would Not Request SCPD (posted by Norse) (1 comment)
Friday Oct 10th 10:47 PM
Measure K Committee Craps Out Again--Another Free Ride for the SCPD Robert Norse (2 comments)
Monday Oct 6th 11:06 PM
California Fair Sentencing Act Passes Out of Assembly ACLU of Northern California
Saturday Aug 16th 8:21 PM
Fresno Cannabis Association opposes Senate Bill 1262 Bud Green
Wednesday Aug 6th 3:02 PM
ACLU Sues Fresno over Medical Marijuana Bans ACLU of Northern California (1 comment)
Tuesday May 27th 8:00 PM
Thousands Attend Annual 420 Celebration at UC Santa Cruz Bradley Allen (3 comments)
Sunday Apr 20th 9:23 PM
Santa Cruz Needle Exchange Numbers In: 170,373 Collected, 165,712 Dispensed Drug War News (7 comments)
Monday Apr 14th 11:50 PM
Needle Litter is the Problem; Needle Exchange is the Solution Steve Pleich (7 comments)
Thursday Mar 27th 3:00 PM
Mama Medicine Harvest McCampbell
Monday Oct 14th 3:21 PM
The Killing Fields: East Oakland, the Panthers, and the CIA anon (1 comment)
Tuesday Sep 24th 11:08 PM
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Federal Prohibition Against Legalized Medical Cannabis Enables Robbery, Kidnapping Another Angry Patient (1 comment)
Tuesday Jan 21st 7:37 AM
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Sunday Mar 10th 4:42 PM
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