April 20 is Cannabis Day in the US, a holiday for US cannabis smokers that has become a holiday around the world as well.
The date was chosen because April 20 was written as: 4/20 and the number 420 has a strong symbolism in the cannabis culture.
Why was the number 420 chosen?
Steven Hager, editor of High Times Magazine, discovered after an in-depth investigation that the phrase "420" was born in 1971 by a group of students at San Raphael University in California, who called themselves "The Waldos." The group would meet every day after everyone graduated at the same time (4:20) near the statue of Louis Pasteur and smoking marijuana. Over time, the phrase "420" (Four Twentie) became a code name for them as cannabis.
Over time, the narrator also became popular with other members and acquaintances of the Waldos, including members of the band Grateful Dead who distributed it among their fans. Hence the number spread among all cannabis consumers in the US and the phrases “it's time for a 4:20 break” or “it's always 4:20” have become useful and common phrases.
To this day the number 420 is used as a code word for marijuana and many do not know the reason. Various speculations have developed about the cause but they are not true:
Some say 420 is a penal code clause for marijuana use in California. This is not true. Section 420 of the California Penal Code deals with the blocking of entry into public lands.
However, on January 1, 2004, the Governor of California signed the State Senate Act No. 420, which regulates the use of marijuana for medical purposes. This bill came years after the number '420' was linked to marijuana and indeed the number was probably chosen because of the existing connection to pop culture.
Some say the number of chemical compounds in marijuana is 420. This is also not true. The number of chemical compounds in marijuana is 315, according to people in the High Times magazine.
There are more and more false assumptions such as that April 20 is the best time to plant marijuana (not true, there is no special time that is good for this), or that the date of birth of Jim Morrison and Janice Joplin is April 20 (no True, Jim Morrison was born on December 8 and Janice Joplin was born on October 4) ...
How do you celebrate Cannabis Day?
In the United States, on April 20, processions, demonstrations, performances and parties are held calling for a change in drug policy and indictment. The highlight of the day comes at exactly 4:20 p.m. , Everyone counts backwards (as at New Year's Eve parties) from 10 to 1 and lights the joints together when the clock shows that it is 16:20.
Police in most places in the world treat celebrants patiently and rarely make arrests.
April 20 is also Chinese Language Day
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