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Four Twenty 2009 at UC Santa Cruz
by Smiling Slug
Tuesday Apr 14th, 2009 6:05 PM
Each year on April 20th, at 4:20pm, people celebrate and smoke cannabis together. One of the biggest gathering spots in California, perhaps the biggest, is Porter Meadow at UC Santa Cruz. It's a large event for the whole community - a place where thousands of people can have a picnic, play with musical instruments, frisbees, kites, you name it, and just have fun. It's in a safe and relatively secluded location and problems are rare.
In past years, the usual practice has been for a police officer and an administrator to come by towards 5:30 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.

However, by April 20th, 2007, something changed. Administrators became increasingly paranoid and reactionary over student protests and 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.

On April 20th, 2008, blocked roads leading up to campus failed to prevent thousands of students from around the Monterey and San Francisco Bay Areas from participating in a huge Four Twenty celebration in Porter Meadow. Despite the increased prohibitions initiated by the UCSC administration to curtail the unorganized convergence, folks showed they were determined to experience Four Twenty as one large group of people in the Porter Meadow.

In an April 7th, 2009 message to students, UCSC's Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs writes that Four Twenty "diminishes UCSC’s reputation and draws negative attention to the campus" and then goes on to list numerous restrictions curtailing the ability for students to associate with their friends and move freely around campus. Students are vowing to defy UCSC's “no-guest” policy, while pointing out that UCSC is an open and public campus.

With April 20th, 2009 upon us, and despite UCSC's authoritarian mandates, plans are well underway to ensure that, once again, the biggest cannabis celebration around will be at Porter Meadow, UC Santa Cruz.

Even if you don't smoke, come and hang out!

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Get real
Tuesday Apr 14th, 2009 6:41 PM
It's all groovy when you try to paint it as the man cracking down on your fun.

..but the 420 up there has attracted more and more -18 year olds every year. And the campus is responsible for those kids, and the lawsuit that will ensue if one of em gets hurt.

Throw your own party, stop crashin the campus.
by Robert Norse
Tuesday Apr 14th, 2009 6:53 PM
Elizabeth Limbach last year published an article in Good Times describing repressive UCSC "free speech zones" & restrictive regs []
that limit political public assembly to three areas on campus and "restrict the conduct of non-affiliates (those other than students, faculty and UC officials) on UC property"

"The non-affiliate regulations were proposed in May and officially implemented as Educational Code 92440 at the Regents’ Sept. 18 meeting. The list of restricted non-affiliate behavior includes more obvious taboos like nudity, loitering and noise, but also stipulates that such peoples will need the permission of a “Designated University Official” to carry, transport or post signs and fliers, and to hold or attend any event or demonstration. Violation of these rules is now a misdemeanor."

Some described these rules as "an attempt to deter union demonstrations, especially those in support of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) that have been occurring frequently on UC campuses in recent years".

Limback's article also noted: "Currently there are three official zones: one at Quarry Plaza (home to the Baytree Bookstore) and one in front of each of the two libraries. However, a temporary zone is chalked out at any given event when officials deem it necessary."

"John Williams has first-handedly been confined to these temporary free speech zones, and feels that they are used selectively and inconsistently. He cites a campus club fair that happened at the start of the school year at which he was passing out union fliers. When he strayed from his table with the fliers in hand, campus authority stopped him, explaining that he was no longer in a free speech zone. According to Williams, the representative retracted the zone when he contested, arguing that they were allowing fraternities and sororities to distribute pamphlets in the same area—literature that he claims is far more controversial."

I interviewed Williams last fall and he noted that three students had been suspended in an early fall demo--indicating these rules are more than just paranoid fantasies or idle threats.

What's their current status? Are they likely to be used on 4-20? Have they been modified, abolished, or brushed aside by student activists?

Inquiring minds need to know.
by Not Robert Norse
Tuesday Apr 14th, 2009 8:52 PM
I don't think free speech is the issue here, consumption of controlled substances for their own sake is the actual issue. As a long time recreational user however I have to say that I find 4/20 a rather uninspiring practice. People who enjoy a good high properly don't just gather in a field and hang around and leave trash and cause havoc. They have a concert or an art show or some other artistic expression of higher consciousness. This 420 thing is bogus. It should be boycotted by all self respecting dopers. Don't be slackers! Organize a concert, get a permit, do something! Then if a little ganga comes out so what? Nobody will care because the context is right. Man! The idea of tromping over wild flowers to stand around and get high just for the sake of getting high is the lowest form of slackerdom and it gives us creative users a bad rep. I agree, it makes UCSC look bad. If there was a creative happening that would be totally different.

Get on it or don't show!
by Robert Norse
Tuesday Apr 14th, 2009 10:09 PM
Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly (as well as the right to privacy) are regularly at stake whether the event is a formal protest, a concert, or just a celebration.

The Drug Was has been a major pretext for violent police intervention and the crowding of the jails and prisons locally and nationally.

The September UC Regents regulations restricting access to campus and defining limited free speech zones could come into play here--though the large number of people (assuming they show) will likely thwart the keystone campus cops.

Police action in past years has gone beyond even the September UC Regent regulations in attempting to quell and disperse a popular event.

I'd like to see this event turn into a march on the jail, the D.A., the police station--denouncing the misery caused by Drug War policies--but, as the previous writer notes, it's really just a celebration of getting high.

But that's a right too, however frequently it's denied.

And doing so in public with others means a public assembly.

Just don't try it in a public parking lot downtown. That would violate Councilmember Coonerty's crazy Parking Lot Panic law banning any lingering in a parking lot except to park or retrieve a vehicle.

Glad to see people coming together to celebrate. Whether it's the Wednesday Drum Circle once a week at the Farmer's market of the 4-20 event once a year in the Meadow, it also means reclaiming your rights! Go, slackers!

Again, does anyone know what the current regs are and whether there have been any further discipline against students.
by Randy
Wednesday Apr 15th, 2009 5:52 PM
Pro-4/20 event success will all depend on numbers. If you have 15,000 students there somehow I'd bet the campus administration would back down a bit. Obviously, I doubt there will be that many, but there still could be enough to win this battle.

As a side note and personal comment, there will almost definitely be more students at the 4/20 event than were at the tea party tax event event today, which I attended, in downtown Santa Cruz, which is really a shame, and unfortunately shows that UCSC students are more concerned about a temporary high than changing the direction of this country during this time of economic and international crisis.

by Slug
Wednesday Apr 15th, 2009 6:15 PM
it does not take 15,000 students. a handful or more friends and strangers are more than enough to enjoy a warm spring day on the Porter Meadow. i have paid more money than i would like to admit to the UC Regents, they are not about to tell us that we can't walk down to Porter Meadow.
420 is not a battle, it is celebration.
the tea party tax event is neither here nor there, but if you value your personal freedom, then come on up to UCSC on Four Twenty.
legalization of cannabis would save taxpayers around $8 - $16 billion*, not counting the economic benefits of hemp agriculture and other spinoff industries *
by old guy
Wednesday Apr 15th, 2009 6:28 PM
I've got nothing against someone using marijuana to get high. But I thought last year's event was too big and had too many folks driving in from out of town to participate. There are any number of small town celebrations that have turned ugly when they became too much of a "scene" with folks traveling from afar to be there. I know dope smokers as a group tend to be a mellow bunch. But it only takes one bad character to cause something bad to happen.

Another problematic aspect of this event is the location. Porter meadow is a beautiful place, but lacking in any nearby public facilities. Not to be crude, but where did all those folks go when they needed to answer nature's call? Also the road nearby is winding and with very limited parking, so access is also an issue. I expect the cops to ticket heavily. I also expect tow companies will make a killing on illegally parked cars

I do not mean this to sound like I have something against visitors. But in this case, if you are out of town thinking about coming to this, consider the very real points I've made above. Also consider whether you might not have a spot near home where you could have your own 420 event.
by slug
Wednesday Apr 15th, 2009 7:01 PM
Last year 420 was on a Sunday, whereas this year it falls on a Monday, so that makes it harder for people that have to work or with other commitments. People usually only hang out for an hour or two, so the bathroom is not too much of an issue. The Hungry Slug cafe is close enough and they share their customers use the bathroom inside of the Porter Dinning Hall. Porter is an open grass meadow surrounded by lovely trees such as oaks. it seems to be a very good location for people to safely gather. people can walk from town all the way to Porter Meadow, like many people did last year. They can also take the bus onto campus. People can legally park their cars in the communities around the base of campus or near mission and bay or even downtown santa cruz. there is no reason people should expect a parking ticket, as long as they are paying attention.

i encourage everyone to come together at Porter Meadow because it is an unforgettable experience!
Porter Meadow is recognized around the world as the place to be on Four Twenty.
and of course, Leave No Trace. we love and celebrate the environment and the beautiful cannabis plant.
by karl roenfanz
(k_rosey48 [at] Thursday Apr 16th, 2009 6:13 AM
when you go to vote, use your write in slot. legalize marijuana.
by Old Guy
Thursday Apr 16th, 2009 1:52 PM
"Slug" wrote:
"People usually only hang out for an hour or two, so the bathroom is not too much of an issue. The Hungry Slug cafe is close enough and they share their customers use the bathroom inside of the Porter Dinning Hall. Porter is an open grass meadow surrounded by lovely trees such as oaks. it seems to be a very good location for people to safely gather. people can walk from town all the way to Porter Meadow, like many people did last year. They can also take the bus onto campus. People can legally park their cars in the communities around the base of campus or near mission and bay or even downtown santa cruz. there is no reason people should expect a parking ticket, as long as they are paying attention."

Hungry Slug and the nearby dining hall and dorm buildings are all closed for renovation this year.
The nearest parking is in the neighborhoods near the campus, and is all posted 2 hour or permit parking. These areas are a good half hour walk from Porter.
The campus intends to set up police checkpoints and shut down bus traffic and all entrance on the west side of campus.

"Slug" also wrote:
"and of course, Leave No Trace. we love and celebrate the environment and the beautiful cannabis plant. "

Yes, please! I'm sure the campus will make a big deal out of any mess left behind.

Like I said in my earlier post, I'm not opposed in principal to 420, but question the location. maybe Lighthouse Field or Pacific Avenue would be better venues for an all-inclusive event and publicity.
by sight & seen
Friday Apr 17th, 2009 2:38 AM
ive been at this celebration/protest for 7 years
watched it grow from a couple hundred
to 5 or 6 thousand
each year more police presence

i say bring instruments and dance

plan ahead so you don't get caught in a police check point (unconstitional) or a 2 hour parking zone

mobilize and transform

most of the past comments make me feel like people are not willing
to take a stand for their rights
if you ever have, or are planning on taking part in cannabis consumption, you owe it to be there
you owe the grower
you owe the trimmer
you owe the dealer

for they all risked their freedom for your "mind" freedom

its doesn't matter if you partake in that anymore, if ever
its more about people coming together and realizing they are together (i.e. have power)
not judging one another...
by person
Saturday Apr 18th, 2009 11:43 AM
so not to seem like a huge nerd, but i actually wanted to go to class on monday, because i'm going to school at ucsc in order to get an education, not to smoke weed. now of course, with the busses shut off, campus closed, and everything crowded, i definitely won't be able to go. i don't care if a bunch of stoners from all over california want to celebrate.
by Bomer
Sunday Apr 19th, 2009 6:50 AM
It's on a Monday; the only people who'll show up are students with no classes and unemployed stoners with enough money for a bus ticket. Everybody else has got stuff to do.

Shows you the power of scheduling: put 420 on a Sunday and it's a major regional lifestyle event. Put it on a Monday, and it's just the locals. The ones who aren't working or have class.

The university is doomed to look like doofuses whatever they do about 420. If they do nothing, they get criticized -- and maybe even sued for "implicitly sponsoring the event" if someone's little Muffin trips over a tree root. If they make discouraging noises, they're evil authoritarians. Actually, what they are is scared and barely competent bureaucrats.

by dangerbug
Monday Apr 20th, 2009 1:13 PM
ya thats funny cause i know the ones that want to celebrate, aren't even concerned with your schedule...damn why don't you grow a pair....because you miss one day? sorry to break it to are a nerd. and if your so concerned about school then sleep there overnight or friken walk....i'm they didn't close the school down for a "weed" celebration... for someone so concerned with their education, you aren't that smart....

have fun with that
by thai stik
Tuesday Apr 21st, 2009 9:30 AM
sorry we had to use your feild. We'll call and make reservations next year......:)