Hundreds Swarm To 4/20 Pot Party at UC Santa Cruz
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Hundreds Swarm To 4/20 Pot Party at UC Santa Cruz
Posted by CN Staff on April 21, 2010 at 14:56:02 PT
By Megha Satyanarayana
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel
Santa Cruz, CA  --  Smoke and song drifted through the air on Tuesday afternoon as hundreds gathered in UC Santa Cruz's Porter Meadow to celebrate 4/20, a date and time symbolic of marijuana.Leading up to 4:20 p.m., students and area residents filed down several narrow pathways behind Porter College to the meadow and the woods nearby, packing myriad bongs, pipes, joints, pot brownies and cookies for the unsanctioned celebration of the drug.
More than 1,000 people showed up on Tuesday, which was much colder and windier than last year's event, which drew about 2,000 or so revelers.Traffic getting into UCSC was slower than usual, and altered bus and shuttle schedules had several students thumbing rides around campus.Jamie Martinez, a freshman pursuing math, went to the meadow with friends early in the afternoon to stake out a prime spot. He said pot helps him do his schoolwork."It relaxes me. It makes me focus," he said.In a few months, voters will have a chance to weigh in on whether it could be legal in California. An initiative on the Nov. 2 ballot would legalize for those 21 and older the possession, sale and growth of marijuana, leaving regulation to municipalities, rather than the state. Some see it as a way to increase revenue through taxing sales. Others see it as condoning drug use and creating a public safety hazard.But several students at the party Tuesday said legalizing marijuana statewide wouldn't make much of a difference, since it is readily available, especially in Santa Cruz, which has essentially decriminalized its use by making it the lowest priority for law enforcement.Eric Arthur, a 20-year-old Cabrillo College economics student who came to UCSC for the party, said he would vote for the measure, based in part on his mother's opinion.He said she believes the measure is worthwhile if it brings in regulation and revenue to the cash-strapped state. He echoed other students and said legalizing it won't make a huge difference, because, "you can get it anyway."Arthur volunteered to be filmed for a future episode of Comedy Central's "This Show Will Get You High," which came to the 4/20 event. Before police asked the show's crew and others to take down tents, the crew filmed several people answering joke questions to root out what Arthur called narcs.Even as he smoked in front them, he failed the test."They thought I was a narc," he said, even though he asked them, "Do you have a lighter?"The university, as in years' past, did not sponsor the event, calling it "unsanctioned" and "unwelcome" in a message posted on its website.Traffic was diverted from 3-5:15 p.m. and buses and shuttles ran altered schedules. Uniformed police and firefighters were on hand.While no major incidents took place at the meadow, one person not affiliated with the school was arrested at a campus bus stop earlier for possession of a knife and taken to the County Jail, according to campus spokesman Jim Burns. Anti-marijuana activists who showed up last year were absent.At 4:20 p.m., there were cheers and raised fists at Porter Meadow, before heads ducked in unison to take hits.Alicia Barnett, a 19-year-old literature major, looked at the event less as a party and more as a reflection of a year gone by. She came to the 4/20 celebration last year, where heat broiled the baked crowd, during a time where she said things were not going well in her life. "This is a personal expression of how time changes. I was in a completely different place. This year, I feel so much happier," she said.Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA)Author: Megha SatyanarayanaPublished: April 21, 2010Copyright: 2010 Santa Cruz SentinelContact: editorial santa-cruz.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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