Tuesday, April 20, 2010
At about 4.20 this afternoon people all over the world will be lighting up and celebrating. 420 for those who aren't aware, is a codeword for marijuana. Times have changed. Medical marijuana is legal in 14 states and California is about to legalize both possession and cultivation for personal use in a 5' x 5' plot.
The origin of the term is murky. The original belief was it was the police code for smoking pot in San Rafael, California but that is not true. A long investigation and many interviews with people whose memories are, shall we say, slightly fuzzy found the source. It was San Rafael and originated as far back as 1971 with a few friends. Here is the entire story, investigative journalism at it's finest.
On a more serious note, far too many people still sit in jail for possession or for dealing small amounts of pot. In 2007 over 800,000 people were arrested for marijuana, 88% for possession only. While attitudes are slowly changing there is still a long way to go. The benefits of medical marijuana are sufficiently well documented and a large majority of Americans believe that it should be legal for medical use.
So if you indulge, kick back and light one up this afternoon and celebrate 420.