UC Santa Cruz gets ready for 4/20

UC Santa Cruz gearing up for 4/20 celebrations

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Some first year students like Josh Bernstein are looking forward to celebrating their first 4/20 at UC Santa Cruz.

“I hear there’s a lot of crazy stuff that goes on, like thousands of people in tents and stuff,” Bernstein said.

“I’m interested in it,” first year student Summer Nolette added. “The school’s got quite a reputation, obviously.”

But others who’ve been through a few of these say all they remember is the mess people left behind.

“I don’t think smoking weed affects the campus, but I do think all the trash and litter they leave behind is, you know, it messes up Porter Meadows,” sophomore Joshua Alther said.

School officials and campus police are also discouraging the gathering that one year attracted 8,000 people. Officers said 70 percent of those who came last year were outsiders, who posed security risks.

“We made the arrest last year, felony arrests with two individuals with a gun and possessions for sales of marijuana, we arrested an individual with a billy club and a machete,” UCSC police Chief Nader Oweis said.

And even though Prop 64 passed, which legalized adult use of marijuana in California, officers said UCSC is a federally funded institution, and cannabis is still illegal under the law.

“We realize and recognize that although we might not be able to talk to everybody or cite everybody,” Oweis said. “We are going to do our best to make sure everyone is safe on this campus.”

This time around, there will be about 100 officers from various agencies on patrol and guarding a DUI checkpoint.

All this police activity tomorrow is costing the school $100,000, that many say could be used for other things.

But for those who still plan on lighting up for 4/20, students are offering some last minute advice.

“If you have homework that’s due the next day, please, no, do not go there. If you have work later, please don’t,” senior Cameron Johnson said.

PREVIOUS STORY: It's not an official holiday, but some might be celebrating as early as 8 a.m. Thursday, UCSC police said.

The gathering usually attracts thousands of students, and officers are reminding students the rule of law still applies on 4/20.

While Prop 64 passed last November, UCSC police Chief Nader Oweis said it does not apply to this campus since UCSC is a federally funded institution.

One hundred officers from 10 UC colleges and California Highway Patrol will be on campus to patrol and monitor a DUI checkpoint, according to Oweis.

KION's Linda Zhang is working on this story for our news at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. tonight.

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