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Indybay Feature
Wed Apr 25 2007
A Portrait: 420 at UC Santa Cruz
Students Repeat Long-time Tradition, Despite Police, Administrator Intimidation
Every year on April 20, folks gather around North America to celebrate and smoke. UC Santa Cruz has historically had one of the largest gatherings around, a self-fulfilling prophesy of sorts, spurred on by UCSC's unique cultural history and the occassional spotlights from outside (like Rolling Stone Magazine a few years ago). It's a big community event - a place where thousands of people can bring a bunch of friends, musical instruments, frisbees, you name it, and just have fun. It's in a safe and relatively secluded location (Porter Meadow) and problems are rare.

Over the past few years, the usual practice has been for a police officer and an administrator to come by towards 5:30 or 6 and urge people to move on. By that time, most folks have been there for a few hours and are pretty much ready to go, so the event gradually fizzles out. This year, however, something changed. Administrators, who have become increasingly paranoid over student protests, decided to assemble a large group of police and administrators in the meadow an hour before 4:20. Then, the story goes, as large numbers of students started arriving at Porter, they marched down to the meadow and retook the space from the police and administrators, initiating the yearly 420 festivities again as the majority of police and administrators dispersed. photo Read more and view photos

Measure K, passed by 64% of Santa Cruz voters in the November 2006 elections, makes enforcement of state and federal laws pertaining to the distribution, sale, cultivation or use of marijuana by adults their lowest law enforcement priority. Even though students vote in City elections, the University of California is exempt from local measures.

See also: Sensationalizing 420 || Is '420' at UCSC good for the University? || 4/20 intrigue
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