~~April 20, 2014~~
CANNABIS CULTURE – 4/20, the official holiday of the global cannabis culture, is here again. On April 20, huge clouds of marijuana smoke will fill the air at rallies in cities across the planet.
~~First a little history~~
The idea of 4:20 as a time to smoke pot goes back to the 1970’s, when a group of high-school students from San Rafael California began using it as a time and code word for marijuana smoking. Grateful Dead-heads quickly scooped it up and passed it around, until it became common parlance in the 1990’s.
In 1995, a group of marijuana activists from Vancouver working for Prince of Pot Marc Emery had the brilliant idea that 420 could mean not just a pot smoking time (twice every day) but also an entire day of cannabis celebration, if written “4/20”.
The April 20 marijuana rally was born at Victory Square park in Vancouver and over the last 20 years, the concept has been adopted by cannabis activists around the world. Cities like Vancouver and Denver now host huge rallies with tens of thousands of peaceful marijuana smokers celebrating the plant they love.
A group of teenagers in San Rafael, California, calling themselves the Waldos began using the term in connection with a plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop that they had learned about in autumn 1971. Although their typical “hang-out spot was a wall outside the school,” the Waldos designated the Louis Pasteur statue on the grounds of San Rafael High School as their meeting place, and 4:20 p.m. as their meeting time.
The Waldos referred to this initial plan with the phrase “4:20 Louis”, but after multiple attempts to find the crop failed, the phrase evolved in form and use — shortened simply to “4:20”, the teens increasingly relied on the code word to refer to pot-smoking in general. High Times, particularly the editor Steven Hager, was responsible for bringing the Waldos’ story to a national audience. Hager called for 4:20 p.m. to be the socially accepted time of day to consume cannabis and attributed the early spread of the phrase to Grateful Dead followers, who were also linked to the city of San Rafael.
~~April 20 observances~~
420 event in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, April 20, 2013
April 20 has become a counterculture holiday in North America, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis. Some events have a political nature to them, advocating for the legalization of cannabis. North American observances have been held in San Francisco‘s Golden Gate Park near the Haight-Ashbury district, the University of Colorado‘s Boulder campus, Ottawa, Ontario, at Parliament Hill and Major’s Hill Park, Montréal, Québec at Mount Royal monument, Edmonton, Alberta at the Alberta Legislature Building, as well as Vancouver, British Columbia at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
The growing size of the unofficial event at UC Santa Cruz caused the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs to send an e-mail to parents in 2009 stating: “The growth in scale of this activity has become a concern for both the university and surrounding community”.
~~Pot-smokers share ‘highest’ holiday with Easter on 4/20~~
Throughout the past few weeks social media has been spreading the absorbing fact that Easter 2014 lands on the Marijuana holiday 420. Although the Christian holiday is a recognition and celebration of the holy story of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, popular culture also recognizes the holiday as filled with tasty chocolates and Easter eggs filled with treats.
Its easy to say the least the jokes and memes are heavily rolling through social media networks, conveying that “nobody will be able to find Easter eggs this year.” Americans generally are familiar with the story of Jesus Christ and the holy holiday of Easter, but in respects to the two holidays landing on the same day, it seems appropriate to take a look at the history of the marijuana holiday 420.
Nonetheless the holiday is very influential in popular culture, enough so that Quentin Tarantino made all the clocks in Pulp Fiction set to 4:20.
There are many myths and rumors inscribed in the marijuana holiday 420, the origin of the holiday still remains largely a mystery. However there are several explanations and origin stories from all kinds of people, that seem relatively plausible. There is only a few things we know for sure, that the 420 holiday stands for the date April 20th, and that marijuana users feel compelled to celebrate marijuana consumption on this day.
Marijuana users celebrate by smoking, eating and consuming the cannabis in vast quantities. Since the legalization in the states Colorado and Washington, marijuana sales are expected to skyrocket this 420 holiday, along with the sale of Doritos and Beef Jerky.
Some marijuana historians believe the reason why the holidays origin has been lost is because the very nature and side effects of the plant. One more scientific explanation is that marijuana contains 420 active ingredients or chemicals, while others say that 420 is tea-time in Holland. It has even been connected to Hitler’s birthday and the legendary musician Bob Marley. Others have suggested that it has something to do with Earth day which is on April 20th. Jokingly they say the marijuana users were two days late in celebrating.
Arguably the most accepted story line is that 420 is some sort of police code that was used in Point Reyes, California for officers tracking weed and weed smokers. However main-stream reports the holiday’s origin from a 1990′s flyer campaign by the Grateful Dead that circulated heavily in northern California. As Easter 2014 lands on the marijuana holiday 420, it can be said that this media hype was all crafted by a bands flyers in Oakland.
Sometime in 1990, Hightimes made a copy of the flyer, spreading to marijuana users from Oakland to New York. By 1995 the Cannabis Action Network staged their first annual 420 Ball in San Francisco at the Maritime Hall, a special even that begins and ends at 4:20. By 1998 Hightimes launches 420.com, promoting 420 into the digital world.
Although Easter 2014 lands on the 420 marijuana holiday, there should not be any animosity between the two holidays. It is even argued by some theologians the Bible speaks of marijuana in Genesis 1:29, and makes for an important focal point of the Rastafarian religion. This Easter should make for an interesting one to say the least.
~Opinion by Zane Foley~
~~4/20: The Hazy History of a Marijuana Holiday~~
~~Published on Apr 20, 2013~~
The history of how 4/20 became an unofficial holiday for smokers might prove surprising.
We ALL are ONE!!