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Indybay Feature
Is '420' at UCSC good for the University?
by Adam Schrank
Wednesday Apr 25th, 2007 3:35 AM
This is a response to the article by the Santa Cruz Sentinel in Tuesday's paper, about the event of '420' on campus at UCSC. The article makes this weed smoking day a cherish event for the school and promotes drug acceptance and use on campus. The school should be taking action to discourage and enforce the laws against this event in the future.
Tuesday’s article in Santa Cruz Sentinel by Matt King, “Thousands at UCSC burn one to mark ‘420’,” made the university seem like a joke. There were over 2,000 students that participated in smoking weed on April 20th, this past Friday, and the school did nothing to prohibit the event. The article glamorizes smoking weed and displays UCSC as a haven for illegal drug use. UCSC should be finding ways to incorporate new theories education, instead of blocking off the roads so students can get baked out of their skulls on campus.

What was UCSC thinking? They allowed an incredible number of students to do this event without thinking about the safety of the students. Most of the 2,000 students must have taken transportation there, how did they drive home safely? Without campus employees or police at the event, what would happen if students had medical emergencies from smoking?

King actually quotes a Berkeley grad student about McRobert‘s video of the event, “While the video shows students doing an illegal drug, it could benefit the school’s reputation.” Are you serious? How can it benefit this academic institution if it portrays us as condoning and encouraging an illegal act? UCSC should be trying to destroy their appearance of being a popular drug usage school and focus on being a leader in California education. In twenty or thirty years, I want to be able to tell people I went to UCSC and allow the people to think prestigious university instead of stoner school.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

It is only persistent mass action against the absurd, vicious, and unrelenting Marijuana Prohibition that will restore sanity to the legal system and to police priorities.

Speaking of which, the Measure K Oversight Committee--which makes sure that Santa Cruz police respect the law, the will of the voters, and the democratic process--hasn't met yet. As of a week ago, there were only four completed applications. Give a call to City Hall at 420-5020 if you're an interested city resident.

Folks concerned with ending this massive corrupting cancer (the Drug War), might also give a call to District Attorney Bob Lee. Demand he stop prosecuting local medical marijuana clubs (like Roger Mentch's Hemporium in Felton). Call Lee at 454-2400 and tell him to respect the will of the voters, who elected him and passed Proposition 215, legalizing medical marijuana use, cultivation, transportation, and sales.

We need more smoke-in's, not less. Public outrage with every bogus marijuana arrest or prosecution.

And a clear understanding that if you're on a jury, you can simply vote "not guilty", however much the judge and D.A. want to tie you up in knots. Just keep your own counsel and act justly.

I discuss these issues regularly on Free Radio at 101.1 FM and every Thursday 6-8 PM and Sunday 9:30 AM- 1 PM. Shows are archived at .
by bigmammoth
Wednesday Apr 25th, 2007 9:29 AM
I am proud of UCSC for engaging in massive civil disobedience this shows the campus is not a bunch of strict conformist who do whatever the “laws” tell them to. It shows the campus supports the celebration of life and judging for ourselves what that means. Going against the establishment is what makes this campus great. If you don't like their fire then don't come around cuz they are going to burn one down and what do you care if they are not causing no harm to no-one other than your false imaged image of UCSC?

Your lack of history of drugs and academic culture is also disturbing. Have you forget the academic innovations that came out of Barkley in the 60s? Why don't you have a conversation with UCSC own Dr. Ralph Abraham Mathematician and Chaos Theorist since 1958 about the use of mind altering substances and academic innovation. Likewise have conversations with other theorist about drugs in toxic cultures and substance abuse (not to neglect the other side).

Then make a decision to participate or not participate in these cultural activities. Do not encourage the state to “crack down” and restrict the freedoms of others because you have come to a particular point of view that is different from theirs. Have conversations with people; don't leverage oppressive forces to enforce your imagined view of the university.
by wondering what they will do when they grow up
Wednesday Apr 25th, 2007 10:36 AM
All being said and both all make good points. Here is mine. While other colleges and places of higher education were having vigils, UCSC Students were getting high. It is unfortunate that UCSC students cannot organize unless it deals with drugs and civil disobedience.
by student
Wednesday Apr 25th, 2007 11:58 AM
"It is unfortunate that UCSC students cannot organize unless it deals with drugs and civil disobedience..."

yeah, them students should be organizing against the war... and ... organizing to support low paid service workers .. and .. organizing to make UCSC a model for a Green campus...

oh wait...

we already are!


To Adam: You care too much about UCSC's reputation and how this reputation affects you. My first year of school here, I thought about transferring to some more 'prestigious' school, just so I could feel better about myself, but then I realized that UCSC was the best place for me and it was this type of alternative education that I wanted. I hate to tell you this, but UCSC's stoner image has been around a long time and isn't likely to go anywhere. I'd suggest you focus more on your education and doing what you want to do at UCSC, rather than concerning yourself with the 'image' of the University.
by Jane
Wednesday Apr 25th, 2007 12:11 PM
really, I'm not seeing that. I see when students elected to represent the SB going to talk to the chancellor about what they want to say(their own program). Not what the forum is, which the election of a new chancellor, and when they are advised that this forum is for that they just storm out. Insteed they should be telling the board that we want a chancellor that will listen to the students. Just a tought.
by response to student
Wednesday Apr 25th, 2007 1:33 PM
Yes, true. There is good organizing going on, however, I cannot recall the last time any of these movements brought over 2000 people out in the streets. Now, only if there was some good ganja at these anti-war and pro-worker rallies, there might be a few thousand instead of a few hundred.

Student Wrote: "yeah, them students should be organizing against the war... and ... organizing to support low paid service workers .. and .. organizing to make UCSC a model for a Green campus...

oh wait...

we already are!"
by Adam Schrank
Wednesday Apr 25th, 2007 1:38 PM
My main focus for writing this was to show the school's tolerance and acceptance of the situation. They are too allowing and encouraging of this act, things in which a university should not be.
by gp
Wednesday Apr 25th, 2007 2:17 PM
just because there is 2000 people at the meadow doesn't mean there is 2000 people smoking. i was down there with 5 of my friends just to experience the event. i know there were plenty more just like me.
by Another Slug
Wednesday Apr 25th, 2007 4:18 PM
I went to the meadow around 1:30 P.M. and folks were trying to discourage people from hanging out there by passing out yellow flyers. But when 420 came around, they couldn't stop the voice of the people, or the flickering of lighters, what ever. If you don't like it, get the hell out of UCSC and consider some other place like BRIGHAM YOUNG or BAYLOR, ok???? Fucking stupid whiney conservatives, get a fucking life. I came to UCSC for many reasons, INCLUDING THIS ONE!!! THANK GOODNESS FOR ANNUAL 420'S AT UCSC! GO SLUGS!
by Chad N
Thursday Apr 26th, 2007 9:26 AM
THe day of 420 has come and gone this year with much clamoring on both sides of the event. Thousands of Marijuana smokers gathered on campus and lit up in an act of civil disobedience while thousands of others decried the activity as illegal and harmful to persons either directly from smoking marijuana or contributing to other issues. This was just at UCSC, not to mention what occured at colleges and other public places all across the country.

Proponents of "420" were protesting the illegality of Marijuana and attempting to publicly demonstrate thier belief that it is a completely harmless substance. Those that opposed the event decried it as a large number of students endangering themselves and/or others around them. Was there a problem at UCSC due to this event? Did anyone die? Anyone go to the emergency room for Marijuana induced medical problems? If it happened, I for one would certainly like to know about it.

It would seem to me that the "pro-pot" group managed to make thier point quite handily at this event by simply using marijuana in a public setting while the anti-drug community failed to prove anything what-so-ever. The pro-marijuana community demonstrated without any exclusion that Marijuana at the very least doesnt deserve the demonizing it has suffered for so many years now. The anti-marijuana community could only grasp at potential issues and problems with the activity and yet on record none of the things that were touted as potential issues occured. This leaves the anti-marijuana community grappling with where exactly did thier proof go? Where exactly is the smoking gun with regards to Marijuana use? Where were the drugged driving deaths? Where was the mass emergency room addmissions for Marijuana overdose or Marijuana induced phsycosis? Where were the violent criminals out to kill or harm everyone they met when high on Marijuana? None of this was at the event. None of it reported in the news. It simply was not the way it was, and yet we still are saying that marijuana use is extremely dangerous, addictive, and subscribe to the 'Reefer Madness" philosophy.

One can only assume that those individuals that participated in the 420 rallies across the nation did not suddenly decide to use marijuana for the first and only time on that particular day. Those people that participated in these rallies had probably been using marijuana for some time prior to this event, many may have participated in the 420 events of years past. Why are these people still students? Why havent these people shown up on the radar in the past with overdoses, mental disorders, been arrested for crimes against society? Because they are not criminals, thats why. Because they are for the most part productive and happy members of society even though they use Marijuana.

We as a public must begin to realize that even though Marijuana is for the moment illegal, so many people doing something so publicly without harm to themselves or others is most likely not a problem at all.

Was there a problem at UCSC? Absolutley! THe problem was, or should be said the problem is, that the anti-marijuana community feels the need to find new and ever more exciting ways to villify marijuana all the while not being able to provide any substantiated proof of thier claims. The pro-pot community has nothing to prove. They have proven time and again that what they are doing is realitively harmless, thier problem is getting people to listen to reason rather than Reefer Madness.
by al
Saturday Apr 28th, 2007 5:48 PM
thats just your belief
what about the bigger picture?
by ucsc_student
Thursday Jul 19th, 2007 12:35 AM
I'm a current UCSC student, and my personal stance is that without proper research into all the effects of mild altering substances, I won't experiment with anything (I don't even like to drink caffeine). However, my public policy perspective is that drugs should be legal. I'm a fiscal conservative and a social liberal, so a "war on drugs" that limits freedoms, seems like a complete waste of time and taxpayer money.

Given all that, I just want to inform those delusional enough to believe that marijuana is harmless, that Wikipedia has a wonderful entry on marijuana illustrating all the effects of marijuana.

If, in spite of reading the article (and possibly consulting a doctor), a person chooses to take marijuana, I'd recommend consulting some sort of legislative bodies to bring about research efforts, if not in the US, then certainly elsewhere.
Saturday Jul 28th, 2007 4:19 PM
Cannabis ("marijuana") has been used since Genesis by over 1 billion people with no proven deaths as a direct result. But alcohol and tobacco have killed over 100 million since the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 was made up by Nixon, a hot-tempered racist drunkard with no medical degree.

The war on (some) drugs is brought to us by the alcohol, tobacco & pharmaceuticals industries. Marijuana is a threat to their profits, and law enforcement is enriching themselves with the drug war, saying the drug war is job security & they don't think they could operate without asset forfeiture. But not all in law enforcement are against marijuana. See the site Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Marijuana has over 30 medical uses where it sometimes works better than anything prescription and it can help us to live longer, healthier & happier lives. At least 24 studies show it fights cancer. Many use it to treat mental problems and/or physical illness and/or pain from injuries, especially those who've found the pharmacorps products have failed them. Half the population admits to having tried it.

Another great site for marijuana education is

What's needed is to stop the debate about if it's safe enough & has medical benefits as we learned long ago it passes these tests. The new debate should be about how to protect jobs & profits after legalization.

Perhaps some or all fees & taxes could go to law enforcement to make up for any loss of asset forfeiture. Divide the business up between the alcohol, tobacco & pharmaceuticals industries. Encourage all interested parties to come to the bargaining table to negotiate their slice of the pie under legalization. A series of meetings emphasizing money, not drugs, is the way to get it legalized, IMO.

by UCSC Student 1980s
Friday Sep 28th, 2007 9:32 PM
UCSC, Specifically College V now known as Porter College has always been like this and this should continue. I traveled there to go to school in 1985 after graduating from a New England Prep School. It was a glorious counterculture experience. The great annual event of that era was the annual "END" party. I am glad to see this institution continues to permit social experiments like 420.

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