Uncomfortable. As in the feeling I get when a crackhead-turned-probation officer can’t stop shouting her paranoid delusions at me from the passenger seat: “The fucking pigs are going to recognize my red scooter. They’re gonna arrest us for all this shit!”
Curious. As in how the fuck the police would know we were driving back from our purchase – unless the neo-junkie didn’t shut her mouth real quick.
Strange. As in the cannabis club being located in the lot next to an Odwalla distribution center.
Carnival. As in the Beach Boardwalk masquerade my buddies and I had been planning since our stash ran out or the reason why I was on this wild kush chase in the first place.
Santa Cruz at its most squeamish.
But aside from my last close encounter at the University of California’s stoner commune, my visits to UCSC rank highly on my scale of stoned endeavors.
Maybe it’s the gorgeous beach view. Naw, we have that here and still managed to give the UC system scabies.
Maybe it’s the redwood trees. Nope, they’re still pissed Model T’s were driven through their relatives.
Maybe it’s the ganja. Negative, ours just costs more. (Shipping fees weighed in with the four-hour drive from the grower in Santa Cruz. Five if they’re blazed on the job.)
Maybe it’s the law enforcement hired there. …
Or the university controlling them?
Let me draw your attention to an article published Tuesday in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
It’s no Boulder, Colo., but UC Santa Cruz’s 4/20 festival this year was a marvel of modern stoner pride. Sunday afternoon, thousands of students and visitors packed into a meadow behind the university’s Porter College to collectively take a rip … or a few.
Without incident, the planned event was a big hit as clouds of smoke rose from the crowd at around 4:20 p.m. to the accompaniment of cheers.
And, as strange as it seems to anyone unfamiliar with Santa Cruz, university police and hired security on hand simply watched from the metaphorical sidelines. University administrators even planned for the event by having a few fire engines on the scene, as well as police roadblocks around the campus dissuading outlanders from attending via motorized vehicles.
Apparently, the administration didn’t think a bunch of stoners could behave themselves around a shitload of lighters. Or did they? It’s not like any arrests were made, nor did there appear to be any incidents of police harassment. So why is the administration trying to make it seem like they don’t support the event?
“This is an event that’s unsanctioned and unwelcomed by the university. It’s based on an illegal activity that has become large in recent years and we’re attempting to send a signal that it’s not welcome,” Jim Burns, a spokesman for UCSC, told the Sentinel.
Unwelcome? I was getting ready to send a letter praising the university’s handling of the matter, and now Burns isn’t supporting the students’ decision to burn one down? Burn. But at least actions speak louder than words. Stoners everywhere should appreciate how UCSC officials handled the event, despite the fact that their public statement contradicts their passive manner toward the matter.
I hope the actions of UCSC can encourage acceptance on other college campuses.
Although there may be a few spots at our university capable of handling such a massive bunch of stoners, I find it hard to imagine the UCSB administration wouldn’t treat a similar celebration with the unnecessary forces of those in attendance at the Halloween shit show.
A large part of the problem, though, is the evangelical policeman. A breed rarely found in peaceful SC until I Googled for more.
Rich Westphal, task force commander with the Santa Cruz County Narcotics Enforcement Team, had the audacity to proclaim the 4/20 gathering “a moral slap in the face to the cause.”
I bet you’ll find him in Isla Vista next Halloween, handcuffing a girl who stumbled slightly while gutsy students handle the sober thieves and rapists.