Happy 4/20! It's ‘Weed Day’

By Daniel S Levine,

Today is 4/20, the day that everyone in America celebrates Weed Day and the number 420, which was somehow associated with marijuana.

How did 420 get associated with marijuana anyway? As the Huffington Post points out, there are countless rumors. It could be that today is Hitler’s birthday, although that would mean that a lot of historians like marijuana. Some speculate that it’s the number of chemicals needed to make marijuana or it’s the product of some math equation in your favorite Bob Dylan song. Or it could just be teatime in Holland (I wonder what drug we could associate with teatime in England?).

It turns out that a group called the Waldos in San Rafael, California (of course) claims responsibility for creating the phrase. They told the HuffPo that, in 1971, they designated 4:20 as the time they would go to a statue of Louis Pasteur and smoke marijuana. They reminded everyone in their high school and soon word spread. The group had a connection with the Grateful Dead and soon the number spread to other Dead fans.

Today, 420 is everywhere. The California Legislature’s 2003 marijuana bill, which was approved by voters, was called SB 420 and decriminalized the possession of marijuana. The Wall Street Journal reports that, on 4/20, sales of all marijuana related items (and sales of marijuana itself) skyrocket, Comedy Central is airing a Cheech & Chong film and a Bob Marley documentary debuts.

You can now legally enjoy marijuana in 16 states and Washington, DC, while other states have pending legislation. According to the Wall Street Journal, government data shows that there were 17.4 million active users in 2010 and, just recently a poll showed that 47 percent of American support legalizing marijuana.

Thankfully, 4/20 is on a Friday this year, giving everyone ample time to come down from that high by Monday.

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