Besides being the anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s birthday and the Columbine massacre, today is a counterculture holiday celebrating pot-smoking. And to its credit, more people know when 4/20 happens than they do Arbor Day. It’s not quite a Hallmark holiday, though I’m sure you can find a someecard to celebrate it.
I don’t smoke pot, though I don’t condemn those who do. A persuasive argument can be made that marijuana is far less damaging than legal drugs like alcohol and nicotine. In fact, once you add medicinal benefits and tax opportunities to the conversation, the case for pot’s legalization seems especially strong.
When it comes to 4/20, the “holiday,” there’s nothing less counterculture to me than institutionalized counterculture. 4/20 isn’t a holiday or a social movement. It’s a rallying cry to encourage pot-smokers to…smoke pot. As a team. Go, Team Stoner!
And to be clear, my issue isn’t about marijuana use, but rather the way people define themselves around the drug. Identifying yourself to the world by the drugs you smoke, drink, or snort is limiting and sad. Grow the F up.
And don’t even try to tell me that 4/20 is a political movement. There’s not a rational thinker on earth who believes that scores of 311 t-shirt-wearing, Jim Brewer-watching, stoners around the world can impact social policy. Outside of, maybe, Berkeley, I doubt you’ll find a politician or legislator who will even pay attention to the day’s activities.