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The Drug Class Blog

Apr 17

Four Twenty

four-twenty what is it all about

Here is the history 420, 4:20 or 4/20 (pronounced four-twenty)

Refers to consumption of cannabis and, by extension, a way to identify oneself with cannabis subculture. The notable day for these is April 20.(Not to be confused with J-Day, an international protest held on the first Saturday of May.)

The term was allegedly coined by a group of teenagers in San Rafael, California in 1971.Calling themselves the Waldos, because "their chosen hang-out spot was a wall outside the school," the group first used the term in connection to a fall 1971 plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop that they had learned about. The Waldos designated the Louis Pasteur statue on the grounds of San Rafael High School as their meeting place, and 4:20 p.m. as their meeting time. The Waldos referred to this plan with the phrase "4:20 Louis". Multiple failed attempts to find the crop (surprised?) eventually shortened their phrase to simply "4:20", which ultimately evolved into a codeword the teens used to mean pot-smoking in general.

The term 420 was spread around by the “Dead Heads” (no pun intended) the group that followed Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead.(there are a few other versions of this story but this should suffice.)

April 20th (4/20) has also become an day on which Marijuana devotees advocate for the legalization/decriminalization of marijuana. There are rallies in most major cities. In a lot of ways it is New Year’s Eve for pot smokers.

The problem, as I see it, is that many teens are introduced to this drug on this day. Kids that may not be particularly interested in weed may be pushed into trying it because it is promoted as a big deal and also that it is “OK”. Drug and alcohol use by adolescents is always something that we need to be concerned about and pay attention to.

We need to push back against the idea that it is all normal.

The other issue is that much of the 420 drug use is during the day, if we look at that the same as we would at adults going out during the day and getting drunk, going back to work or driving around then, perhaps, we can look at this from a better perspective.

What do you think?

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