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From Booze To Buds: A Drunkard’s Descent Into Reefer Madness

420: HOW DID IT COME TO THIS?

Written By: Kyle POGUE

420 has been the most annoyingly trite, cliched and hacky piece of subculture nonsense in my lifetime. It was one of the things about pot culture I derided most. A catch phrase, A meaningless password tossed from stoner to stoner, acting like they’re sharing something clever when in reality, the brief moment of it’s cleverness is long past and it is so useless and predictably dull that it almost feels corporatized.I have always hated all things 420… until I started researching for this article.

After reading about the origins of 420 (it isn’t cop code, by the way), I quickly discovered stories of the mischief surrounding the rallying number, and the mischief makers’ dedication to their cause. In Colorado, the mile marker, 420, on I-70 has been stolen so many times that the state had to change the sign to 419.999. No shit. This same story has played out in other states, as well. In California, the Senate bill to legalize marijuana was coded as bill “420”, by all accounts because of the efforts of an unidentified, undercover stoner working in the office of State Senator John Vasconcellos in 2003. Stoners around the country have long risked their personal freedom, and at times, physical safety, to participate in 420 rallies, which used to be activist organized protests and calls for change, before they were simple celebrations of all things dazed and/or confused. And one study showed that on April 20th, around the country, from 4:20 pm until midnight, there is 12% increase in the risk of fatal motor vehicle crashes because pot heads are getting so high on 420, but still have places to be, apparently. This dedication to the lifestyle of marijuana, all orbiting around the banner of 420, changed my perspective. Anyone willing to risk their life and/or freedom just to honor their inebriant of choice has my respect. Hell, I do it most of the times I go out and get drunk.

So, take to the streets this 420 and make your mischief, you red-eyed rascals!
Hot box your custom painted vans and compact sedans, alike! Steal every sign and logo with the slightest reference to your revered number, but only if it belongs to The State or some corporation, never from the average citizen. Remember, they are your brothers, and weed is nothing if not the Drug Of The People. The 420 festivals are no longer brave protests here in Colorado, but that doesn’t mean you can’t test the limits. Get high right in front of a cop! Blow smoke in his face. Ask him why they had John Lennon killed. Whatever you do, do it with passion and purpose in memory of the brave pranksters that came before you. But for the love of the leaf, stop saying 420 like it’s “totally awesome, bro”.