It’s a hazy holiday for UCSC on 4/20

4/20 2023 UCSC Campus
(Dylan Reisig / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Have something to say? Lookout welcomes letters to the editor, within our policies, from readers. Guidelines here.

In classic UC Santa Cruz fashion, hundreds of students sparked up at the college’s Porter Meadow at 4:20 p.m. Thursday for the annual collective smoke session.

The tradition was once dubbed the largest 4/20 celebration in the world, with some years drawing several thousand participants, producing a plume of smoke that hangs over the upper Westside every April 20th afternoon.

Legend has it that the term “420” has origins in the 1970s. A group of high schoolers in California would allegedly meet at 4:20 p.m. to smoke together and search for an abandoned marijuana crop. The group called themselves “The Waldos,” because their usual meetup spot was a wall outside their school.

Taboos around marijuana use might be largely broken down these days, with California having legalized recreational use of the drug in 2016, but this yearly gathering likely won’t be extinguished any time soon.


Be the first to know all the big, breaking news in Santa Cruz. Sign up to get Lookout alerts sent straight to your phone here or below.