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What Does 4/20 Mean to You?

22 million. That’s roughly the amount of pounds of marijuana grown in the United States each year. One of the largest current debates discussed in the U.S. is whether or not to legalize marijuana across the country; well I’m here to tell you that’s not what this article is about. But what this article will do is talk about one of the most official unofficial days of the year known as 4/20. So with that said, some might ask what exactly is 4/20?

4/20 isn’t just a time of day, the 20th day of April, or just some number. 4/20 is known as National Pot Smoking Day or Weed Day. It originated in 1971 when a group of teens at San Rafael High School would meet at a specific location every day at 4:20 to get high. Since then the term 4/20 has evolved into a widely known and celebrated holiday.

Many people celebrate this day by smoking joints, eating weed brownies, and even by going to huge festivals and rallies. The largest 4/20 rally in the world takes place every year in Denver, Colo., and is a two-day event that celebrates cannabis. Many in Denver expect this year’s rally to be the biggest one yet and will include live music and activities and highlight the long battle Colorado fought for legalization, as well as celebrate the substance itself.

Although marijuana is legal in some states, it has recently only been made decriminalized in Washington D.C. What does this mean exactly? In the District it is no longer a crime to possess one ounce or less of marijuana, but if caught, a person can still be fined. It's like getting a traffic ticket. 

So with the passing of this new law what does this mean for police and smokers, especially on a day like 4/20? It means that it could be more difficult to penalize people who are using small amounts of marijuana especially since the bill was recently passed. But it could also mean that because law enforcement knows that it is no longer a crime to possess a small amount of weed, that they will come after any and everybody who they suspect has been using that day.

 In any event, if you do smoke on this day it is important to be responsible. But for those who don’t want to participate in the 4/20 festivities, there are plenty of alternatives including going to a concert, exploring a part of your town that you’ve never been to before, going to the movies, and much more.

Whether you’re stoner, an occasional smoker, or you don’t smoke at all; it’s safe to say that 4/20 is a widely celebrated holiday that will probably be celebrated for many years to come.

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