April 20th, 4/20; an annual day to smoke marijuana in any form possible, all formats encouraged: straight paper or glass, through water, vaporized and concentrated. 4:20, ante meridiem and post meridiem; light up in synchronization with time itself, around the world and in outer space. A mystic, underground, drug-cult-following enthused holiday that occurs once a year, and every day.
Getting to the point where you aren’t high anymore, and it’s taken the form of a headache, and it’s honestly just time to sleep – that, that is what 4/20 inevitably becomes for most of us. Us with iron lungs, us everyday-er’s. The giant eye of the Corporate Conscious States of America is waking up, though – shifting it’s Sauron-like gaze to the pot leaf, and scheming the possible novel profits to be made (“you get high from the leaf, right?”)
When I was young, like teenage years, the time 4:20 was a cause worth ceremony. We never really cared where it came from, just that it involved weed (which was the world I knew, and wanted to know). It was all about getting high, universally and together.
Going into college, I can recall huge gatherings of scruffy and proper and mouth-breathing people alike; all there to celebrate April 20th, two-thousand-whatever. What’s the school going to do, expel everyone? What about the police, arrest us all? Maybe. It never happened to me, though. Not on that holiday.
Flash forward some years, and here we are living in a recreational city. Though it’s against the law to consume in public, it’s kind of like a blind eye is turned during the stoner celebration. Some people who have no self control will get detained, no doubt – but across Seattle massive amounts of varying humans will be smoking weed; in clubs, venues, bars, breweries, cars, ferris-wheels and anything in between.
How about a decade from this Wednesday? Now that marijuana is legal, one can only imagine that the product itself as a business will grow exponentially in all forms of consumerism. It’s only a matter of time before Hallmark starts making 4/20 greeting cards. I can’t wait for places like McDonald’s, and other junk food paradise’s, to start serving $4.20 meals. Get ready for your favorite bland sitcom to do a weed smoking episode this Spring in the rush for ratings. Dude Where’s My Car 2 will have been made by then.
It’s funny that I feel so protective over what amounts to being high. Maybe because it’s partly connected to youth, a hazy recollection of me and my buddies with no regard for the constitutions we’d be caged into. Reckless kids being kids.
Smoking at 4:20 originated in a high school, in California (circa 1971). It literally started between of group of friends as the ideal smoking time in regards to school activities. After time, “420” came to represent all things weed between the group known as “the Waldos”, rightfully nicknamed for their habit of kicking it in front of a wall. A writer for High Times got wind of it, and 420 (in all forms) was history from there.
To them it was about getting high, it was about weed, and they had no idea it would catch on to the extent where it’s now all but nationally recognized as a counter-culture holiday.
As I sit here drinking my Waldos’ triple IPA from Lagunitas, I realize I’ve already succumbed to the commercialism – whether I like it, or not. Perhaps 4:20 becoming recognized by the greater public isn’t such a bad thing, in the end it will just create more memories for more people (or perhaps less). Either way: 4/20 is for getting high, any way you like it.
Happy holiday, and please consume responsibly.
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