Every year on April 20th, cannabis producers, consumers, advocates, and those who are just curious have long celebrated 420 Day. Once an unconventional day, the day has become the rallying cry of those who seek to legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational uses.
While federal law in the United States still classifies cannabis as illegal, many states have legalized the substance for medicinal, recreational use, or both. Since the 1970s, some state legislatures have been going through various stages of decriminalizing cannabis possession and use. Alternatively, other states have strengthened their stance on the topic. California led the way in 1996 by making medical cannabis legal. Washington and Colorado legalized cannabis for recreational use in 2012. Other states have followed suit in varying degrees.
A 2018 Gallup Poll showed that 66% of Americans support legalizing marijuana. According to Gallup, they first asked the question back in 1969, and only 12% supported making the plant (or weed) legal. Today, proponents point to several reasons for making cannabis legal.
- Cannabis will become the largest cash crop in the United States.
- Legalizing it allows regulation.
- Allows law enforcement to focus on violent crimes and eases pressure on public resources.
- Cannabis is safer than alcohol.
HOW TO OBSERVE #420Day
- Share your thoughts about 420.
- Learn about legislation in your state.
- Explore the medical benefits of cannabis.
- Use #420Day to post on social media.
420 DAY HISTORY
Since the 1970s, people have celebrated 420 Day. Why 420, though? Many myths circulate about how 420 came to mean cannabis or smoking marijuana. Most of them are untrue or unverifiable. However, as related in Time magazine, one tells the story of five teenagers from San Rafael High School in Marian County, California. In 1971, they would meet at 4:20 PM, and eventually, 420 became their code for marijuana. One of the five, Dave Reddix, worked as a roadie for the Grateful Dead and further popularized the term. In 1991, High Times magazine printed a flier initially handed out by a group of Deadheads in Oakland, California. The flyer was an invitation to a 420 event to smoke marijuana. It was on April 20, 1990, at 4:20 PM.