April 19, 2014

What Is ‘420’?

April 19, 2014
happy 420 sign
happy 420 sign
via politic365.com

There are a lot of newbies entering the marijuana world everyday now that marijuana is going mainstream. I often forget just how deep in the fishbowl I am sometimes. A question that I have received over and over again leading up to 420 weekend is ‘what is 420?’ It’s a simple question, but there is no simple answer in my opinion.

I remember the first time I heard of the concept of 420. I was in middle school in 1994, and I was smoking with one of my friends and he asked me if I knew what it meant. I tried to act cool for a minute and act like I knew what he was talking about, but I eventually came clean because I truly wanted to know more. From that day forward I have been fascinated by what ‘420’ means to people.

Obviously April 20th is the official marijuana holiday. April is the fourth month in the year, so 420 applies in that regard. However, it doesn’t have to be April 20th to celebrate 420, proven by how many people wait for 4:20 in the afternoon to roll around so they can smoke in celebration. On a side note, I think it’s worth pointing out that in the year 2020, 420 will be a month long (the entire month of April)…try to fit your head around that awesomeness.

To me 420 means much more than a day of the year, or a time of the day, or in the case of the year 2020, it’s more than a month of the year. To me, 420 is a symbol for marijuana culture. If you see someone wearing a hat or shirt that says ‘420’  on it, then you know that person considers marijuana to be a big part of their life. The are part of the ‘420 community’.

I vividly remember starting a new job after high school and I was wondering who, if anyone, smoked marijuana at my workplace. We had an Easter brunch at the venue I was working at in food service. Wouldn’t you know it, there were 420 customers that showed up that day. One of my coworkers kept saying it over and over with a grin on his face, ‘There were 420 guests today. 420 guests. 420. 420.’ I kept looking around to see who else was smiling, and realized really fast that everyone I was working with loved to smoke. That’s just one example of what 420 means, although there are many others out there. There is no ‘official’ definition, other than it represents marijuana in some way.

What does 420 mean to you? Is it just a day, and how that day became a holiday? Is it culture and community? Is it something else? I look forward to reading your comments.

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