Pot enthusiasts celebrate 4/20 at UC Santa Cruz


High Street marks the entrance to UC Santa Cruz, but on April 20 the name takes on a new meaning.

But university officials were not amused by that or any jokes about the day.

"Quite honestly, we wish it would just disappear," UCSC spokesperson Jim Burns said.

The celebration of pot is not sanctioned by the university.

"It creates inconveniences for our faculty, staff and students here who are on campus for legitimate reasons this afternoon," Burns said.

University officials do not make it easy for celebrants to attend the big smoke-out in a meadow on the far outskirts of campus. The street that leads to it is marked with "tow away" and "no parking" signs and the closest gate closed by midday. But the crowds just keep coming.

"Everyone gets together and it's a celebration of happiness and peace and springtime," student "Elly" said.

Not all of the 16,000 students took a toke or two on Tuesday.

"I'm kind of just mostly staying back and doing my homework and my studies," Kirsten Anderson said.

In the meadow, people were chilling out; some maybe too much.

"Have a bunch of fun in the field, celebrate good times," student Matt O'Bannon said.

No one was getting busted for smoking at UCSC Tuesday; in fact, it was a captive audience for November's ballot measure legalizing marijuana.

"I think California is finally ready to do what needs to be done," marijuana legalization supporter Mark Anthony said.

And at 4:20 p.m., a cheer went up from the thousands gathered at the meadow, as did a giant cloud of smoke.

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