BREAKING NEWS: Twitter reportedly disabled the #420 hashtag on Friday. Check it out by typing "#420" on Twitter.com!
Perhaps you've heard the term "420" today, Friday, but are flummoxed by what it means. If so, it stands for International Weed Day, which is celebrated by marijuana advocates around the world on 4/20, that is, April 20.
The origin of the term has been widely debated by many so-called stoners gathered around drums circles and under black lights. Some believe the number refers to the amount of cannabinoids, a group of diverse chemical compounds present in cannabis; others believe the term's origins lie in a Santa Cruz police code that meant “marijuana smoking in progress.”
Whatever the roots of 420, its oldest reference can be traced back to a popular flyer. Distributed at Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd concerts, it called for "a smoke-out on 4/20 at 4:20 p.m.”
Hundreds of events will take place around the country Friday to mark 420. Although some will be political, advocating for the legalization of marijuana, others will just be an excuse for people to—get high.
The term was further popularized in 2003, when the California legislature passed a medical marijuana bill titled SB420 to clarify the scope and application of Proposition 215, the pivotal 1996 voter initiative that legalized medical marijuana.
Since SB420 passed, marijuana dispensaries have become a controversial issue well beyond Eagle Rock, where supporters of medical weed launched a weekly "marijuana shuttle" to take patients and customers to dispensaries. Many facilities have been shut down across California. In early April, federal agents raided Oaksterdam University, a medical marijuana training school in Oakland, CA.
Those who advocate for the legalization of marijuana often call it a medicine. However, unlike most medicines, marijuana is not prescribed by milligram dosage, and many so-called non-profit dispensary “operators” have made exorbitant amounts of money from the plant.
Advocates of the plant consider the effects of marijuana very benign compared to alcohol, cigarettes and harder narcotics. However, the drug continues to be categorized under a Schedule I classification of the Control Substance Act, and growers and purveyors of the plant continue to be targeted by the Drug Enforcement Administration. See the attached PDF for the DEA’s take on the drug.
Today on 420, we would like your take on this controversial plant that some call a medicine and others a drug with the following poll: