Should 4/20 Be a National Holiday?
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) Nobody knows exactly where it started ( High Times has the earliest recorded explanation, crediting the Waldos, a group of high school students from San Rafael, Calif.), but the number 420 has long been associated with marijuana culture. It spread throughout the country as a not-so-secret mystery that made potheads feel like Illuminati. With marijuana legalized in both Colorado and Washington, both states are throwing huge pot-themed parties on April 20, correlating with the annual High Times Cannabis Cup.
It's not even legal in the eyes of the federal government yet, but 4/20 celebrations are popping up all across the country. We're on the edge of national marijuana rescheduling and decriminalization, and one can only imagine there will be a high turnout at the first 4/20 celebration after national legalization. So will the marijuana-themed holiday be embraced by America's party crowd as a way to bridge the gap between St. Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo?
The 420 Mythology
There's no shortage of myths and tales surrounding the legendary high number. Quentin Tarantino was said to have set every clock in the movie "Pulp Fiction" to 4:20 (false, although Sofia Coppola pulled this stunt in "Lost in Translation"). It's been quoted as Hitler's birthday (true, although beer and bratwurst would be more appropriate than marijuana), Bob Marley's death day (actually May 11), the California penal code against marijuana (false) and the police code used to describe a marijuana offense (false).
All of these stories have been passed down through generations by fans of The Grateful Dead, Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg. Nelson and Snoop even recorded a weed-inspired track on 4/20/09, titled "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die." Everything blended together in such a way that the tradition of sparking a joint, blunt, or bowl at 4:20pm on April 20 has become a unified tradition across the globe.
First Legal 4/20 Celebration
This year's 4/20 celebration is special in that it's the first time it'll be legal to celebrate (in Colorado and Washington anyway). Major marijuana brands are already heading out to these states to begin the festivities: Snoop Dogg's Wellness Retreat in both Denver and Seattle will participate with smoking festivities, and the Seattle Hempfest rally will support those incarcerated on marijuana charges. To boot, a Denver pot rally will featuring B.o.B. and Wyclef Jean.
Last year, Denver's pot rally was tainted by a shooting, and Snoop held his event in California, where it was shut down after Snoop threw joints into the crowd and encouraged everyone to light up. This year, organizers have the kinks worked out, and the legal status of the drug has encouraged attendees. Most of the major events listed above are already sold out, and road trips are being planned in every state.