Happy 4:20

by Steve, April 20th, 2007

4/20Hi guys! You know what day it is, right? It’s 4:20! Party on, dude!

But seriously, folks, 4:20 entered the common vernacular some time after I was introduced to the (ahem) alternative culture it references. The Urban Dictionary has quite a few competing theories about the origin of the term, and Wikipedia has it in a more organized form.

On a serious note, it is a good time to reflect on the war that’s been forgotten in the shadow of the nonsensical “Global War On Terror”, the war on casual drug users. A recent study published last month in the Lancet finds pot less hazardous than booze or tobacco, and it’s well known that many of our leaders have at least “tried” pot (whether or not they inhaled). At least in Oregon, it’s not criminal to hold an ounce or less for personal use. But the US still has a ridiculous number of citizens in prison for personal use of recreational drugs.

While it’s obviously not a good idea to inhale too much of any kind of smoke, marijuana has well-known therapeutic effects. I don’t think it merits too much political capital (i.e. I’m not going to spend my life campaigning for NORML). But a little common sense in our nation’s drug policy would save lives, money and frustration for millions of otherwise law abiding, productive citizens.

Anyway, have a happy 4/20, and don’t forget to inhale.