“Marijuana Time” 420 – Not Just a Number Anymore
Everyone has heard references to April 20th as “National Pot Smokers’ Day,” an unofficial holiday in the marijuana smoking community. There are various stories claiming to explain the significance of 420, as it’s called around the world, but here’s the real scoop.
In 1971, a group of friends at San Rafael High School in Marin County, California who called themselves “The Waldos” used to meet up after school to smoke marijuana. Their preferred time was 4:20 pm, so they referred to their meetings as “4:20” instead of “smoking pot” or “marijuana time” so that parents, teachers or others didn’t know they were engaging in illegal activities. Soon, they used the term to refer to all things involving marijuana use. Coincidentally, the Grateful Dead moved to Marin County at the same time The Waldos were spreading their new “code” around the community. This furthered the spread of the term 420 and solidified 4:20’s transition from being a simple time to a universal symbol of marijuana abuse, use and counterculture.
Today, 420 refers to smoking marijuana, a time to abuse marijuana, a day to use marijuana and even the marijuana itself. Today it has gained fame as a national, and perhaps international, day to smoke the drug, which is still illegal in the United States when used for non-medicinal purposes. In some places, there are large gatherings of individuals in meadows, squares and parks who use marijuana together. In others, individuals advocate the legalization of the drug for medical or all purposes.
No matter the use, marijuana dependency can have negative psychological consequences that should not be taken lightly. Whether or not you choose to celebrate this “holiday”, consider your marijuana use.