‘420′ a homegrown holiday for some

When Atlantans celebrate “420″ they’re likely quaffing a quality ale from homegrown brewer Sweetwater.

But, there’s another kind of homegrown getting buzz on April 20, referred to as “Marijuana Freedom Day” by many marijuana smokers and NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Limited experience indicates this movie was created by the clueless.

Limited experience indicates this movie was created by the clueless.

I’ve only smoked when I’ve lost a bet (curse you Kent Hrbek!), and, like Clinton, I didn’t inhale. But, I am continually surprised by old college chums who have yet to give up the habit.

Say what you will about pot smokers, but they are a dedicated sort, and don’t seem to cause as much trouble as imbibers of legal drink. I’ve been tracking crime news for quite a while, and I don’t recall anything akin to the mayhem promised in “Reefer Madness.”

How did 420 come about?

Originally, 420 referred to a time of day, not a calendar date.

According to Wikipedia, the term was crafted by a group of teenagers in California way back in 1971. The group, who called themselves “The Waldos,” coined the phrase “4:20 Louis” as shorthand for a 4:20 p.m. meeting at a statue of Louis Pasteur at San Rafael High School.

The term didn’t get national play until 1998, when High Times Magazine wrote an article about The Waldos.

How are people celebrating today?

In California, medical marijuana dispensaries are offering “Old School” prices and expect to double their number of customers.

One dispensary is offering free weed.

“420 is the appreciation of the medicine and what it is and what it does,” said Tyler Grant, with Emerald Pathway in Fort Collins, Colo. “And it brings people together, kind of like St. Patrick’s Day.”

Unsurprisingly, lots of colleges will be the site of unofficial observances. Details were … sketchy.

Here are some facts from the Office of National Drug Control Policy:

** Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug; 41.5 % of Americans older than 12 have tried it.

** Gateway drug? Lots of debate, but the White House site says “62% of adults age 26 or older who initiated marijuana before they were 15 years old reported that they had used cocaine in their lifetime.”

** Approximately 47.5% of college students and 56.7% of young adults (ages 19–28) surveyed in 2007 reported lifetime use of marijuana.

** The average potency of marijuana has more than doubled since 1998.

** The use of marijuana can produce adverse physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral effects.

** According to a 2004 Bureau of Justice Statistics survey of state and federal prisoners, approximately 12.7% of state prisoners and 12.4% of federal prisoners were serving time for a marijuana-related offense. This is a decrease from 1997 when the figures were 12.9% and 18.9%, respectively.

** 36.8 % of adults arrested and tested in Atlanta tested positive for marijuana use in 2008-2009. Atlanta was the only city in the U.S. where marijuana was not the top drug found in such tests — it tied with cocaine.

66 comments Add your comment


April 20th, 2011
11:58 am

Smoke’em if you got ‘em.


April 20th, 2011
12:15 pm

Don’t believe the Office of National Drug Control Policy:. By law, they can not say anything positive about marijuana. 850,000 arrested each year(FBI), at a cost of $2000-$4000 per an arrest. At a rate of $40,000per a year for each of those inmates add up to a large chuck of our tax dollars. Oh well, your tax dollars at work!!


April 20th, 2011
12:16 pm

and to correct a little BS misinformation; nicotine/cigarette is the gateway drug, almost always done before pot smoking. and another one to correct; yes, cigarettes are drugs. and something a good parent shouldn’t do, is use drugs in front of their kids. any drugs. if you try to rationalize this in any way you are an addict in the truest form. there is no good reason what so ever that excuse cigarette use as acceptable in front of children. or pot use, or any other drug of these types.

Billy Clint

April 20th, 2011
12:19 pm

I’d like the federal and state governments to show me the dead bodies from marijuana. But they can’t because there aren’t any. But you can count the dead bodies from alcohol, tobacco, and legal pharmaceuticals by the millions.


April 20th, 2011
12:32 pm

unfortunately it is because of states like GA that keep the stuff illegal. Any where with a strong religious moral do gooder community like the bible belt will always vote no to legalize something that is a personal freedom much the same as their right to congregate and practice their own hypocrisy. It is when people feel so pius in their own lives that they try to control the lives of others because they feel something is morally wrong. At that moment they cease being any better than John Q Stoner trying to enjoy his God given right to smoke what ever he pleases.


April 20th, 2011
12:34 pm

I was going to reply to this article, but I forgot what I wanted to say……oh well, smoke another…..


April 20th, 2011
12:38 pm

second Billy’s comment.


April 20th, 2011
12:41 pm

the White House site says “62% of adults age 26 or older who initiated marijuana before they were 15 years old reported that they had used cocaine in their lifetime.”

Correlation does not equal causation. That said, imagine this scenario: Kid tried pot, realizes that all the BS heard from Gov’t/Schools/Parents is not true. They’ve heard all their life how horrible drugs are, now they’ve experimented with pot, and found out that it’s not that bad. Hmmmm, maybe if pot isn’t that bad, maybe they’re all full of crap about coke, too. Very different animal, the cocaine. And that is the trouble with lumping pot in with all the other illegal drugs.


April 20th, 2011
12:46 pm

I agree with ml. I think we all can agree that alcohol is a drug. Let’s run gateway drug on alcohol. I think we may come up with no less than 98% of people tried alcohol before going on to other alternative drugs.


April 20th, 2011
12:46 pm

Gateway drug?… please see TOBACCO

If ignorance was illegal, 70% of our nation’s citizens would be on death-row.

mary juana

April 20th, 2011
12:51 pm

Legalize, tax, medicinal, whatever and however it has to happen.


Smoke on that!! and happy 420!!


April 20th, 2011
12:52 pm

I’m with ml on this one. also…

** The use of marijuana can produce adverse physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral effects.

Whether it’s legal or not it’s not really good for one’s body.

All in all I would not mind seeing it legalized. We could use the tax dollars!


April 20th, 2011
1:00 pm

Bill @12:41 – that is one of the most rational arguments I’ve ever heard. Makes terrific sense. Well played. And this is coming from a former undercover cop and drug task force agent.

teenage issue

April 20th, 2011
1:00 pm

it’s a big (underground) thing at my daughter’s high school. not comfortable at all with the excitement that is brewing among some of her friends on this.

GSU Panther

April 20th, 2011
1:16 pm

I hate when people say they tried pot but didn’t like it and they “didn’t inhale.” Of course you didn’t like it! Isn’t inhalation the point?

Georgia on my Mind

April 20th, 2011
1:16 pm

I smoked quite a bit back in High School and a few years afterward (didn’t go to college).
I have not touched the stuff in years, and contribute my late twenties push of being productive, attending college, and just having an overall better state of mind to not smoking anymore.

But that being said, I 100% support the legalization of the stuff. It is in no way more harmful than tobacco and alcohol. If somebody does decide to binge on marijuana, and waste their motivation skills, they would be no different than an alcoholic. And the negative health effects of tobacco stand miles above any health effects marijuana has.

Legalize the stuff. I just may walk into a coffee shop once or twice a year on a pretty day when I had not much to do and partake in a puff or three if it were legal. But my days of smoking the stuff freely without a sense of consequence are LONG GONE.

Enjoy your smoke today, pot heads. Hopefully one day you can do it out in the open.


April 20th, 2011
1:17 pm

Bill, you mean the friendly DARE officer lied? Gasp!

Fidel, an excellent expansion of Bill’s argument is in “Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do” by Peter McWilliams. Parts of the book are sadly out of date though, since Mr. McWilliams died after aspirating vomit, due to uncontrolled nausea after the feds arrested him for using marijuana.


April 20th, 2011
1:17 pm

“Like Clinton, I didn’t inhale.”

I seriously hope you were joking.


April 20th, 2011
1:20 pm

By that logic, Milk is the gateway Drug. 100% of all drug users started by drinking Milk


April 20th, 2011
1:26 pm

finally a holiday worth celebrating!



April 20th, 2011
1:28 pm


April 20th, 2011
1:34 pm

Some observations:
1. How many kidnappings and murders have taken place in USA/Mexico border towns due to rival drug gangs? Each 1/4 oz. you purchase from your connection has blood on it.
2. Have (or try to have) a conversation with a stoner/someone-who’s-high. They can’t keep a coherent thought together, and it’s a one-way conversation.
3. If you’re a guy over the age of 25, give it up. Women don’t like pot smokers. For good reason.


April 20th, 2011
1:36 pm

cough,cough,cough,cough….dayyuummmm this )hit is dayyuuummmmmmmm goood!!



April 20th, 2011
1:38 pm

The author doesn’t mention the all the murders and other criminal activity directly related to America’s thirst for illegal drugs. Marijuana isn’t harmless by any stretch of the imagination.


April 20th, 2011
1:42 pm

Squidly needs to rethink every idiotic thing his brain just told his fingers to type. Each 1/4 Oz has blood on it?? What if I’m buying it from the pot head college kid who is growing it in his closet? And women don’t like pot smokers…? Maybe the uptight broads that you’re banging.


April 20th, 2011
1:43 pm

You too BIOMASS.


April 20th, 2011
1:44 pm

I’ll be celebrating after work…


April 20th, 2011
1:54 pm

Squidly- your comments are pretty inaccurate. The Mexican drug problem is about Coke, and Mexican weed is harsh and just plain bad.


April 20th, 2011
1:55 pm

As long as you ingest illegal drugs, you are contributing to and supporting the drug culture. Yes, you are also supporting drug cartels and gangs that murder innocent people, including women and children. Not to mention endangering the lives of law enforcement personnel.

Irresponsible people do stupid things and say stupid things. The rest of us are let to clean up their messes.


April 20th, 2011
1:59 pm

If it were legal I would smoke it. Never had a hangover during those teenage years but man I do with the legal drug (alcohol)


April 20th, 2011
2:00 pm

Squidly. There is more to it then women don’t like pot smokers. Usually it is women over 25. Hey I can dig it. I love ‘em 25 and under


April 20th, 2011
2:02 pm

Pot isn’t for everyone. a lot of people in the south do not smoke pot, understandbly because the ‘homegrown’ here is :(

Happy 4/20!!


April 20th, 2011
2:03 pm

Squidly here are some counterpoints

1) Do you think those murders are a causation of weed use or maybe due to weed being illegal in the US the controllers of the substance are gangs and cartels? Do you think blood will still be spread over weed if it were sold in a store next to Kroger?

2) Have you ever tried to have a conversation with an alcoholic? A pain pill addict? What I do know is that when I speak to a “stoner” or someone who is high, they aren’t yelling at me, they aren’t using profanity, and they are not aggressive.

3) Not sure where your sample is coming from but I’m assuming all these women you speak of have your same misinformation and lack of logic.

I’ll leave you with this:


April 20th, 2011
2:18 pm

That 1/4 oz has blood on it? Well damn, better get a 1/2 oz then.

lisa foster

April 20th, 2011
2:22 pm

Billy Clint – your are dead ON IT!. People are so blind to the apparent.

Cough to get off!!

April 20th, 2011
2:42 pm

Happy 420 to all my kind friends!!!


April 20th, 2011
3:06 pm

Ya’ll do realize that a lot of your fellow peers smoke pot. My dad and his friends smoke a lot of pot too its not like its just college students. A couple of the dads have smoked with us but it’s always weird smoking with a dad.


April 20th, 2011
3:12 pm

you smoke aquagirl? lol


April 20th, 2011
3:17 pm

Many of you would be suprised just WHO smokes behind closed doors. Wealthy politicians, businessmen, business women. Some of the most successful people partake in it. I know this personally. Stop being so judgemental and get OFF YOUR HIGH HORSES people! That alcohol your drinking is way worse. For all you people know your best friend could partake in it and here you are bashing and bashing and bashing. Give me a break, live a little! The problem with people today is everyone has forgotten how to just sit back and enjoy lifes experiences, Marijuana is technically classifed as a drug. but you want to know what it really does? It makes you appreciate nature, one another, and it calms. I have perfectly fine conversations after smoking, with people who havent! So stop trying to classify what a “stoner” is like. I work a good paying job in a good career, own my own house, car, have dogs I care for. OH AND WOMEN DO LIKE MEN WHO SMOKE AFTER 25! I wouldnt date one who doesnt.

Bill O'Reily

April 20th, 2011
3:20 pm

You pinheads just don’t get it. If pot was legal, no one would be killing other people for it. Pot grows very well in the US. There is no need for it to be smuggled if regular people or the tobacco industry could grow it freely. No one kills for a bunch of bananas, a box of oranges, or a bushel of corn. Why would people kill for legal weed? Yes, there are always abusers but the VAST majority or people use pot in a reasonable manner. Think of all the money that would be saved by less incarcerations. Think of the influx of tax revenue. Think of the jobs that would be created. People who are against leagalization please tell me how this would effect you negatively in comparison to how you are effected now with in its current illegal state. You people need to stop trying to control everyone else’s lives. Most of the folks that cry the loudest about the gov’t intrusion into their daily lives for some reason get hypocritcal about things they do not agree with. Live and let live. Don’t tread on me. And for God’s sake…quit bogarting and pass the joint.


April 20th, 2011
3:23 pm



April 20th, 2011
3:25 pm

“The use of marijuana can produce adverse physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral effects.”

Such as? Don’t tell me that marijuana does something bad to me and not even say what kind of ‘effects’ it has.

I do not smoke marijuana, but I feel there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Half the people in the state of Georgia are alcoholic white trash that live in poverty because they are drunken losers. I know a few people, PERSONALLY, who smoke marijuana and have an income of over $100,000 a year.

Yet alcohol is still legal and marijuana isn’t. Hmm.

Liviania Armedice Geuztizez

April 20th, 2011
3:27 pm

I’m so stoned…………………………..


April 20th, 2011
3:40 pm

Whos got funions?

Up in smoke...thats where all my money goes...

April 20th, 2011
3:41 pm

Well said Timmy @2:03! I didn’t believe it when a co-worker told me today about this “holiday” (or is it HIGH-liday, lol). Marijuana is NOT a “gateway drug”. Alchohol and tobacco are. If I had never smoked cigarettes with my cousins as teenagers, or been allowed to “take the poison off” my mom’s beer when I was a kid, I never would have tried weed or extacy (tried a couple of times at parties). I have never met an aggressive weed smoker. The only ones I’ve met admitted it was because they’d just quit smoking. It will be nice when we catch up with California and the rest of the world on this issue. Decriminalize it and tax it like alcohol and cigarettes. I’d love to celebrate with my fellow smokers today (I’m with you in spirit!), but I’m quitting so I can look for another job. Gotta pass that drug screen!

Up in smoke...thats where all my money goes...

April 20th, 2011
3:58 pm

“The use of marijuana can produce adverse physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral effects.” The same can be said for EVERY DRUG being sold LEGALLY. Take that statement and replace marijuana with alcohol (causes liver damage), Prozac, cough syrup, Ritalin (ever seen a kid on this stuff?! Its scary!), tobacco, sleeping pills, weight loss pills (can cause permanent heart damage), chemotherapy drugs, allergy pills (the side effects of Nasonex is Glaucoma and cateracts for Chrissakes!), etc…


April 20th, 2011
4:08 pm

Dont worry we wont get it legalized in this state in the next 3 centuries. The crazy fundamentalist christians rule the state, and wont allow the PEOPLE to vote. FU Sonny Perdue!


April 20th, 2011
4:18 pm

foghorn –

If you don’t like it in the South, you are cordially invited to leave.

Last Word

April 20th, 2011
4:21 pm

With regard to the legalization and health risks of marijuana, I say, . . . . . wait, . . . . . was I finished?


April 20th, 2011
4:36 pm

Citing wikipedia as a source is, in my opinion, bad journalism.