When your state starts referring to marijuana as a “cash crop,” you probably don’t look at April 20 and think, “Gee whiz, Adolf Hitler’s birthday!” Check out the “You know you’re from California if…” groups on Facebook – how many of them include the reason, “EVERYBODY smokes weed. No exceptions.”
So why is our country’s biggest and most legendary 4/20 celebration in Colorado?
My friends at Colorado University, Boulder, say that they have a smoke sesh big enough to attract people from all over America. Seriously, check out eBaum’s World online for video proof. I ask you, does this make any sense? Is California not the home of both train wreck and purple kush?
My quest this week was to scour the state in search of some rockin’ local alternatives. I asked students online from all of the leading UCs to describe their most treasured 4/20 rituals. Not very sound journalism, but I got some pretty wild answers. For instance…
“I believe we mostly celebrate 4/20 by studying for midterms,” one UCSD student responded, although it would appear that a small uprising of stoners thrives in San Diego… and they’re not from SDSU. Every April 20 at 4:20 pm, about 200 students gather on the cliffs above Black’s Beach, where they can pay for a dinner made entirely of “magic” foods, spark up, and watch the surfers tackle La Jolla’s righteous waves. This lasts for about an hour, at which point the La Jolla Police Dept. break it up, because La Jolla is allergic to people under the age of 30 having fun. Encouraging, nevertheless.
Would I find the same thing in Irvine? One person wrote “Wtf is 4/20?” and another wrote, “I don’t smoke pot and I don’t know anyone who really cares about 4/20, honestly.” Touchy. Onward to Westwood.
The first guy from UCLA to respond recommended I check out what CU Boulder’s traditions are. What a shocker, a UCLA student who acts like he knows everything but completely misses the point. Others spoke of a “fat sesh” that normally goes on by the campus sculpture gardens. That sounded promising, until I noticed more than one person citing their UCPD as a big killjoy for on-campus shenanigans. Hmm, I wonder if tasers are involved…
But surely the legendary UC Berkeley has something cool? I was given the names of several preferred blazing areas or how the co-ops will provide a bunch of baked goods, but that’s all pretty standard stuff. A couple of Berkeley students, though, claimed that the holiday of choice was not 4/20, but Bicycle Day on April 19. And what, you ask, does Bicycle Day have to do with pot? Absolutely nothing – it’s the anniversary of the first heavy-duty acid trip. Now there’s a celebration.
Further north to UC Davis. You would think that a liberal NorCal community like Davis would be filled with drug-induced excitement, but then again, we’re talking about Davis. “Just little pocket groups,” was the best response. Boring town, boring answers.
OK, some of that sounded cool, but nothing that huge, right? That’s only because I haven’t talked yet about UC Santa Cruz…
Now Santa Cruz is a college located in a town with an overtly socialist mayor and where possession is a “lowest priority offense.” But of course! Why didn’t I think of them before? As you’re reading this, perhaps, UCSC students are gathering on Porter Meadow, bringing their favorite pieces and downing enough dope to make more “fog” than in all of Monterey Bay. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and search “UCSC 4/20” on YouTube, and enjoy a video of Sammy the Slug breathing out a fatty hit. Take that, Boulder Buffaloes!
So yes, I’d say California can hold its own, even if nobody east of the Mississippi knows UCSC exists. As a Gaucho, however, you’re probably wondering where our own campus stands. Well, sure we don’t have a big public smokefest like Boulder or SC, but observe how many businesses in the ads section of this newspaper advertise special April 20 promotions. Marvel at how this is the fourth 4/20-related column in a week. Boulder is number four on the High Times list of the “Top 10 Counterculture Colleges.” Know where UCSB is? Number two. Happy Chronikkah, everyone.