Today Is a Holiday

Today Is a Holiday
Posted by CN Staff on April 20, 2006 at 10:04:04 PT
By Drew Lyon, Staff Writer
Source: MSU Reporter 
Minnesota -- Today is a holiday in many social circles, only you won't find a calendar observation of the event. Nor will you find a Hallmark rack adorned with witty sentiments to send to loved ones. A bottle of Visine to cure inevitable red eyes would suffice, but not a holiday card.April 20 is infamously remembered throughout history as Adolf Hitler's birthday and the anniversary of the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School.
However, in the counter-culture — which admittedly isn't very alternative anymore — 4/20 or 420 (pronounced four twenty, not four hundred and twenty) is a day to pack up the bowl or bong a few more times than usual, roll a celebratory blunt or joint to salute three digits representing the nearest event the weed community comes to an International Marijuana Independence Day.Classes will be emptier than usual for a Thursday, and worker attendance and/or productivity will sharply decrease, while pizza sales and, depending on the weather, city park attendance should swell considerably.Conversely, due to a welcoming —though temporary — drop in alcohol-accelerated testosterone, downtown establishments can expect a plummet in chemical belligerence and selfish stupidity in the wake of such pacifying pre-bar activities.Wishful thinking, I concede, but 4/20 is one of the few consistent days in college where kindness, generosity and like-minded values reign supreme over greed and narcissism, even if the day involves only a portion of the population for an all-too short reprieve.This isn't a hippie, “peace, love and weed, man” utopia I'm describing. Merely a mellower, contemplative and communal environment that is a rarity on a Thursday in raucous college towns.Maybe April 20 wouldn't be remembered as horridly if before they shot 12 fellow students on the morning of April 20, Columbine High School students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had forgot that 4/20 signified the birthday of arguably the 20th century's most vile human being.What if they instead turned back home, and reconsidered this demonic plan over a stuffed bowl and the latest Marilyn Manson record?After a few puffs of the notoriously-potent Colorado bud, it's possible, hypothetical rhetoric aside, the stoned paranoia would've gotten the best of the duo, causing them to — at least for a brief spell — re-think the cowardly acts they were preparing to execute.But the Trench Coat Mafia likely weren't hip to the term yet, because for a sustained period beginning in the early 1970s, 420 was a phrase used only among a small, though ever-expanding, population of smokers as slang for “let's get high.”It was a way in public to subtly confirm you smoke pot without coming outright with an obvious endorsement. 420 has since lost its underground appeal, mostly due to over exposure. It spread and filtered through to smokers throughout the country as 420 became a reliable pillar of cannabis folklore among the younger generation of feigns.However, for every amateur who circles the date on their calendar or makes it a point to ruin the sponantanity of smoking by lighting up the moment the clock strikes 4:20 (a.m or. p.m.) there are seasoned, cynical pot aficionados who are ambivalent towards the de facto symbol of the Weed Nation and its day of remembrance. To them, today's just another one where they'll find themselves with a roasting bowl in their paws.The symbol lost its underground charm long ago, they'll argue, after 420 flew directly under the watchful radar of the squarish mainstream culture.At most head shops or Florida tourists spots you can find T-shirts, coffee mugs, hats, and key chains blatantly revealing its association with pot; not exactly the typification of the 'secret code word' history 420.So where did this number come from, and what about it makes these misguided burnouts care so much?No, your older brother was wrong — 420 isn't a reference to California's police code for marijuana, and neither was Cheech Marin born at 4:20 on April 20. And sorry Deadheads, the Grateful Dead did not live at 420 Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, and Jerry Garcia's life didn't expire at 4:20 a.m.What 420 does equal, however, is 35 multiplied by 15, as in Bob Dylan's “Rainy Day Women #12 and 35" (a.k.a. “Everybody Must Get Stoned”).The most widely-accepted birth of 420 puts the date of the phrase at 1971, five years after Dylan's '60s anthem, conceived by a group of pot-lovin' California high school students. When one of the members of the clique uttered “4:20 Louie” it meant to meet for a smoke session at the Louis Pasteur statue 70 minutes after school dismissed at 3:10 p.m.Disregarding its scrambled history, 420/April 20 continue to stand as a cultural symbol of marijuana freedoms (what little exist) and the power of word-of-mouth, as 420 is one phrase any self-respecting weed smoker speaks fluently.As for this modest columnist, tonight he's got books to skim, papers to write, and a computer screen to blankly stare at deep into the midnight hour.Or maybe I'll muster up an elaborate excuse to my superiors come Friday morning and hopefully they'll nod empathetically when I explain, “No, I know it's not mentioned on a calendar, but really, I was celebrating a holiday last night.”Drew Lyon is a Reporter staff writer Source: MSU Reporter (MN)Author: Drew Lyon, Staff WriterPublished: April 20, 2006 Copyright: 2006 The MSU ReporterContact: reporter-editor mnsu.eduWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #5 posted by whig on April 23, 2006 at 15:48:08 PT
Richard Zuckerman
"I may have erred on this information, Whig. I thought I read somewhere that Hitler did urge Hemp be grown. We know that Henry Ford and Adolph Hitler were anti-semitic. We know that Henry Ford's scientists grew Hemp on Magic Mountain, in Michigan, and concluded that Hemp can fuel our automobiles. It isn't a stretch of the imagination of the possibility that when faced with an energy crunch Adolph Hitler may have urged the cultivation of Hemp."Yes, it is a stretch of the imagination. If you can't document it and if you are basing your contention on the fact that he and Henry Ford were both anti-Semitic, it is not a reasonable assumption at all to believe that Hitler encouraged more hemp be grown.I don't agree with you at all on your immigration stance either, but I've been over that ground already.
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Comment #4 posted by Richard Zuckerman on April 23, 2006 at 15:27:51 PT:
I may have erred on this information, Whig. I thought I read somewhere that Hitler did urge Hemp be grown. We know that Henry Ford and Adolph Hitler were anti-semitic. We know that Henry Ford's scientists grew Hemp on Magic Mountain, in Michigan, and concluded that Hemp can fuel our automobiles. It isn't a stretch of the imagination of the possibility that when faced with an energy crunch Adolph Hitler may have urged the cultivation of Hemp. We do know that Prescott Bush, George Herbert Walker, and Rockefeller, provided Standard Oil of New Jersey shipments to Adolph Hitler during an Oil Embargo, from the 300 block of Broadway of New York City, This past Friday, I called the U.S. President's comment line, spoke to a woman there, asked to legalize Marijuana, allow for Hemp to be used as an alternate source of fuel for our automobiles akin to the research on the conversion of Hay into Cellulose Ethanol and Brazil's buring sugar cane, in CNN episode about peak oil, and to OPPOSE GIVING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ONE SINGLE SOLITARY BENEFIT.
I also called the comment line of New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, told the lady a similar statement.
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Comment #3 posted by Dankhank on April 20, 2006 at 11:27:26 PT
Hitler and Hemp?
Whiga comment in an earlier thread stated that Hitler started the Drug War.It was an interesting comment, from a newer member, that is easy to refute.The beginnings of the drug war were in the late 1800's, likely before young Adolph drew a breath.Hitler is in the top three of all-time evil, but we liked his idea of high-speed highways and built our own.We may have taken another idea or two from that madman.nuff said ...
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Comment #2 posted by whig on April 20, 2006 at 10:57:10 PT
Richard Zuckerman
Why are you associating hemp with Hitler?First of all, I can't find anything to substantiate it. Secondly, Hitler probably drank milk, too. This sounds like a really unfortunate smear of a plant that never harmed anyone and certainly has nothing to do with Nazis except that fascists love to demonize cannabis.
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Comment #1 posted by Richard Zuckerman on April 20, 2006 at 10:45:33 PT:
I personally visited and telephone the office of New Jersey State Senator Bob Smith, in Piscataway, to support Hemp, and when I called him today to ask that he oppose raising Rutgers University student tuition rates, I asked the woman who answered the phone once again to support Hemp. She said he very recently visited the "Tent City" at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., to support their opposition to tuition hike and she told me he mailed me some materials on the Hemp. I don't visit my Post Office Box very often, but tomorrow, Friday, I will certainly visit my Post Office Box to see if his paperwork is received. The country of Brazil burns sugar cane for automobile fuel. Why shouldn't we have the opportunity to burn Hemp for fuel,!!!I'd like to attend the Hempfest which is planned to take place within a couple of months just over the Michigan border into Canada.
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