Why do we celebrate 4/20? | Smoke Signals | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Why do we celebrate 4/20?

Mind: Prepare to be blown


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Even the most challenged Mathlete amongst you knows that this week we celebrate 4/20, aka Stoner Christmas. But why 4/20? What mystical connection does this have to cannabis? Grab a mop to clean up your mind, because I'm about to blow it.

What 4/20 is not: It's not the following bullshit. I'm not sure how anyone came to the conclusion that it was, but maybe they were high. It does read like the type of thing someone who was sitting around with a Graffix bong, long overdue for a cleaning, dreamed up. Or perhaps someone who had a dream catcher hanging from the rear view mirror. (Yes, I have a problem with that. It's a fucking CAR, you should be awake while operating it, not worried about "catching dreams" in motion.)

"It's because of Hitler's Birthday." Wait, what? That sounds like something Sean Spicer would say. It's true that the speed freak was born on 4/20 (Hitler, not Spicer), but there is no conceivable way anyone thought the best way to celebrate it was to start smoking weed.

"It's Police code for "cannabis smoking in progress/cannabis crimes." Do you actually think all police departments have the same codes from state to state? Or that they have a particular code for someone smoking weed? That's stupid. Stop believing stupid things.

"The number of chemical compounds" in cannabis is 420. That isn't true, and based on the pathetic amount of research we can legally perform on cannabis in this country, I'm surprised this has gained any traction. If you are saying this, you are insulting science.

"It's the hotel room number the Grateful Dead always stayed at while on tour." Oh Jesus, this again? Do you understand how touring works? Do you think an entire band as successful as the Dead all stayed in one room because it had a certain number on the door? No, they did not. And no, I don't want to hear about the summer you followed them on tour while selling burritos in the parking lot, or your bootleg tapes from '74 at the Cow Palace. Get away from me.

"If you take Dylan's 'Rainy Day Women #12 & #35" and multiply 12 x 35, you get 420." True, the chorus is "Everybody must get stoned." But that doesn't mean Dylan was inserting math clues into his song titles. It makes me sad that you think Dylan had that sort of time or transparency in his lyrics.

So why do we celebrate 4/20? Here's the big reveal that's going to change your life. Brace yourself:

Because back in the 1970s, a group of high school buddies in San Rafael, California, who called themselves "The Waldos," liked to get together in front of a statue of Louis Pasteur at their school to get high at 4:20 p.m. Later, that morphed into using 420 to refer to anything weed-related. That's it. It comes from a group of kids smoking weed, (which is exactly what every prohibitionist freaks out about.)

Those kids all ended up dying from weed, btw. Except they didn't, because unless a bale of weed falls on you, no one ever does.

Happy 4/20!

Meanwhile, bills of interest in the state legislature right now:

Senate Bill 863 is on Gov. Kate Brown's desk, awaiting signature. The bill would protect dispensary customers from having their personal information seized at pot businesses. Retailers would have 48 hours to remove info about customers from their books.

Senate Bill 301 was approved by the Senate Judiciary committee on Tuesday. The bill, if approved by the legislature, would prohibit employers from discriminating against applicants and employees, should they test positive for a drug that's legal in the state. In other words, employers would be blocked from firing workers, or refusing to hire applicants, based on a positive test for marijuana—with pilots, railway workers and truck drivers excepted.


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