‘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

Crazy

April 20th, 2011
4:39 pm

I saw some folks firing up in the car the other day on 285. I bet it made the commute easier to deal with.

Crazy

April 20th, 2011
4:42 pm

Women over 25 don’t like pot smokers LOL.

Crazy

April 20th, 2011
4:45 pm

Some “fact” stated that 1% of electricty consumed goes to growing the weed. It is not very green.

Crazy

April 20th, 2011
4:48 pm

5:20 is when you grab a 40 oz.

fd

April 20th, 2011
4:56 pm

God there’s a hell of a lot of pot heads in this town. I weep for the future, and yours.

JJ

April 20th, 2011
5:29 pm

Puff, Puff, Pass……

stoned again

April 20th, 2011
5:32 pm

BUT…..think about this:

** Gateway drug? Lots of debate, but the White House site says “100% of people any age who had used cocaine in their lifetime drank milk before they were 15 years old

Brandt Hardin

April 20th, 2011
5:48 pm

Marijuana is the safest drug with actual benefits for the user as opposed to alcohol which is dangerous, causes addiction, birth defects, and affects literally every organ in the body. Groups are organizing all over the country to speak their minds on reforming pot laws. I drew up a very cool poster for the cause which you can check out on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/01/vote-teapot-2011.html Drop in and let me know what you think!

Dave's not here

April 20th, 2011
6:01 pm

High fructose corn syrup (HFS) is the gateway drug.
HFS is guaranteed to cause poor health.

GT Student

April 20th, 2011
6:55 pm

If someone can smoke 3 times a day for 4 years in a row at one of the top ranked colleges in the nation and graduate with highest honors and have 4 job offers upon graduation, I think it may be okay… When compared to my UGA buddies who drink about 5 times a week, I believe they are much worse off than me.

Alcohol and cigarettes are done before weed almost always. And it is agreed that telling kids its a horrible thing not only will make them want to do it more, but when they realize it isn’t horrible, they will try coke and other drugs.

North

April 21st, 2011
7:56 am

Why does our government have the right to deem alcohol and cigarettes and, indeed, preservative- and fat-laden unnutritious foods legal but prohibit other drugs? THAT is the true sign of the welfare state! Why not legalize them all and prohibit the negative behavior?

Jim Faster

April 21st, 2011
12:18 pm

Gee…All this time I thought April 20th was about celebrating Hitler’s birthday.

PuffDaddy

April 23rd, 2011
10:18 am

This article reminds me of a sign I once saw at a Celtics game after robert Parrish was busted for gettign weed sent to him by FedEx. ” Inhale to the Chief”!!!!

SmokeThatBone

April 27th, 2011
11:07 pm

I am almost 60. I have smoked weed since I was 15. I am a successful entrepanuer. Alcohol really did me in. I quit drinking after back to back blackout weekends manyu years ago. Which I never had smoking pot. Also I have a 62 year old sister in law who has been smoking pot longer then I have. She has a double Masters Degree. Devolpes educational pc programs and is an established author. Not to shabby. Legalize and end the violence. Did our country not learn anything from history when alcohol was illegal and the mob violence that came from that?

Interested

April 28th, 2011
2:56 pm

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

This would lead one to believe that marijuana users are actually less likely to commit crimes leading to an arrest, since the percentage of arrestees testing positive is lower than the percentage of general citizens who admit to lifetime usage. The Drug Czar might want to re-think admitting to both of these facts in the same place. (Not to mention the question of how many of the arrestees were charged only with the marijuana, itself, instead of committing any other crimes.”

Edward Procil

October 16th, 2011
11:15 pm

Just came across a new social networking internet site for medical cannabis. Looks very good – http://www.weedpals.com