420 blaze it

It’s 4/20 today, and just about everyone (excluding some children and some of the elderly) know what that means.

Marijuana, hemp, pot, kush, weed… whatever you want to call it, cannabis has become a huge part of our culture. Just like in the age of hippies, people are obsessed with the feeling of getting high and letting go of worries through the use of substances like cannabis.

It is a pyschoactive drug, which means that it alters the brain’s activity through its use. These changes often result in a feeling of relaxation, peace, or euphoria. These highs can vary in time, as different individuals react differently to the drug. Additionally, smoking cannabis can sometimes lead to the user experiencing hallucinations.

Cannabis is also used medically, as it can benefit people suffering from the effects of chemotherapy or AIDS. This is not an accepted practice everywhere, but it is becoming more universally accepted as time progresses. And in some cases, it is genuinely beneficial.

So what is all this “420” business about? Well, 420 is a term that comes from a group of high-schoolers in the 1970’s who met after school at 4:20 pm to look for an abandoned cannabis crop. The number eventually came to represent the act of smoking in general, and is regaining popularity as a 4/20 holiday celebrated by users everywhere.

Today, 4/20, thousands will gather to smoke together, with 4:20 being the ideal light-up time. Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Colorado (the only four American states with laws protecting recreational use of marijuana) are expected to have some of the highest numbers of participants.

But that won’t stop users in other states. In fact, it may actually encourage them. Some groups advocating for the legalization of recreational cannabis use are using this date for political protesting. Nineteen states have legalized marijuana for medical use, but not recreational.

I have to admit, I was actually not aware of the history of the whole “4/20” craze. I still won’t be celebrating with the masses when 4:20 hits, but it’s interesting to know.

NOTE: I don’t think this practice is a great thing to do, but I’m definitely not informed enough to tell someone they can’t smoke marijuana. I’ve never done it, but I know plenty of people who have, and some are really good people. I probably won’t ever try it, but I don’t believe I’m qualified to condemn its use.

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