4/20 has come around again! The coveted counterculture day that is unofficially International Cannabis Holiday is highly anticipated this year. This comes in the backdrop of spring 2020 and 2021, which saw the cancellation of 4/20 celebrations all over the United States. Social distancing rules seem to have been relaxed, which is quite a relief as we grow closer to this date.
Interestingly, the jury is still out as to whether 2022 is going to see the day be a commercial holiday or it will be in line with previous celebrations that have acted as legalizers’ attempts to have the stigma around the substance done away with.
To best understand what is likely to be experienced during the 4/20 celebrations going forward, it is prudent that we first examine the history of the day with the hope that we will accurately capture what’s to be expected of 4/20 post the pandemic.
History of 4/20
The genesis of 4/20 has been filled with mystery. Still, when you follow the breadcrumbs, you find said genesis in 1971. The story goes that a group of San Rafael High School students, who’d tagged themselves “the Waldos,” would occasionally congregate outside class against a wall and light up their blunts. It is rumored that these students ended up inheriting a map that was allegedly meant to lead them to an abandoned cannabis crop near the Point Reyes Peninsula Coast Guard station, just up the coast from San Francisco. This group of friends is said to have made plans to meet after school at 4:20 p.m. to see if the map they’d inherited was real. For weeks, this band of friends is said to have gathered in a ’66 Chevy Impala and smoked blunts the whole way out while seeking to validate the treasure map. It is said that the Waldos ended up not finding the hidden treasure that was the abandoned weed field. Still, unbeknown to their peers, parents, and teachers, the group often used the term “420” to refer to the plant that they had grown to love and use as often as possible.
It would therefore appear that the Waldos pioneered the term “420” and used it within their inner circle. The propagation of 4/20 within their language would then end up being catapulted to be quite a popular term during the 1970s and 1980s. Some accounts point out that the use of marijuana at 4:20 p.m. took a somewhat ritualistic path that saw more users convert 4/20 on their calendars as the day they would celebrate the liberty of smoking marijuana.
Granted, there have been additional theories as it pertains to the genesis of the term 4/20. A common belief that is floated about is that 4/20 is, in fact, the California police or penal code for marijuana. Note that at present, there’s still no evidence that supports this claim.
An additional theory is that 4/20 can be linked to the active chemicals in marijuana. However, this is far from the truth, seeing as there are nearly 500 components in marijuana.
Further, it is only right that this article highlights a 4/20 genesis story that is, for all intents and purposes, less known. This genesis tale is said to originate from the 1939 short story “In the Walls of Eryx” by H.P. Lovecraft and Kenneth Sterling. This short story makes references to a curious mirage plant whose characteristics are quite close to those of marijuana. The narrator explains that the high seemed to hit him at 4:20, which then links the present use of the term in this tale.
Altogether, it would appear that 4/20 represents different things to different people. Still, there seems to be a counterculture movement that is pegged on the date that seeks to help with the embracing of marijuana. The gatherings and rallies carried out on said date seem to be a protest against the broader systemic problems in the US that seem to impede the eradication of the stigma surrounding marijuana use.
In most recent times, there seems to be a greater push by marijuana legalization activists to bring a more formal aspect to the celebrations. It would appear that the past couple of years have used the day to push political agendas, part of which include the legalization of marijuana.
It would be almost ill-deserved not to mention that 4/20 is slowly becoming a commercial event. As highlighted, the day was initially intended to be a counterculture holiday in protest of, in part, the social and legal stigma that surrounds marijuana use. The systemic legalization of marijuana in a lot of the states has, in some way, undercut the purpose and meaning attached to the date.
Proof of the commercialization of the day lies in how companies seem to be all of a sudden interested in leveraging the holiday to promote the industry and their products. It could be argued that 4/20 is slowly turning into St. Patrick’s Day, where there seems to be an almost feigned interest in what the day represents. Now, it is simply an opportunity for the pot industry to showcase its products and the different strides that have been made within the niche.
The Relationship between COVID-19 and 4/20
In 2020, the pandemic was in high gear. We saw different states and counties implement lockdown measures that were meant to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2. While these measures were anticipated to bring about success as it pertains to the spread of the virus, they had quite the effect on drug consumption patterns.
Cross-sectional surveys, a few weeks after the implementation of the lockdown measures due to COVID-19, saw a decrease in the use of marijuana in public. It is best to mention that while some of these measures had an impact on the use of marijuana in public, they seemed to have a positive correlation with in-house use of marijuana and its products. Still, the pandemic took a toll on the celebration of marijuana use in the states.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a unanimous sentiment against smoking. This seemed to originate from caution from medics that cited that COVID-19 was a respiratory virus, and any form of smoking would stand in the way of prevention and treatment of the virus. At the time, the majority of health personnel cited that any form of smoking had a negative impact on lung function and, as such, the cardiovascular system.
An additional concern has been sharing of joints, vapes, pipes, or bongs. This comes at a time when experts still advise that social distancing rules should be abided by. It is prudent to mention that due to the pandemic, most cannabis-related business storefronts remained closed, which then necessitated that businesses adopt a new mechanism of cannabis delivery.
What’s more, the global COVID-19 pandemic saw a significant portion of the population quarantine at home. This meant that there would be no quick runs to the dispensary or smoke outs with friends. While blazing alone on the coach seems to be the only option available, there are still fun options available to you during this year’s 4/20 celebrations.
How to Celebrate 4/20 Post Pandemic
Cannabis use has maintained its status as a social activity that involves the sharing of blunts, pipes, vaporizers, or bongs. The advent of COVID-19 seems to put some constraints on what could best be described as the middle era of cannabis consumption.
Amongst the recommended ways of celebrating 4/20 in 2022 is joining a virtual 4/20 event right from your living room. This comes in the wake of two canceled events in 2021, including the National Cannabis Festival and The Emerald Cannabis Cup, both organized by the HighStream 4/20 Festival. Traditionally, these events would have been jam-packed with live music performances, demonstrations, seminars, and panels with marijuana experts. The replacement will have to be a virtual 4/20 celebration that is likely to feature live music, online smoke sessions, appearances by celebrities big on the marijuana culture, and giveaways for participants.
An additional way through which you could celebrate 4/20 in 2022 would be to host your friends for a smoke-a-thon. This involves bringing together a bunch of your friends for a private smoke session. To successfully do this, consider sending out Zoom invites and stocking up on your favorite buds, microwaving some of your favorite snacks for when the munchies hit, and if you are willing to be a bit extra, investing in some 4/20 decorations.
For a more sophisticated vibe, we recommend that you organize a smoke and DIY event that is meant to make your creative juices flow. This could involve asking the virtual attendees of your event to bring a forgotten craft project which they could then finish during or after the virtual smoking session. Overall, planning a 4/20 party while at home with just a few online invitees should not be too difficult.
Being a part of a world record is an idea that is quite exciting. The idea of the world record originated from the botched 4/20/2022 celebrations, where most of the planned 4/20 celebrations were canceled. It is in light of these cancellations that entrepreneur Tony Dipernbrock created the 420 World Record that you can participate in this year.
To be part of this world record, you simply need to sign up, and you’ll consequently have a Zoom link sent to you with instructions on how to join the world record. The latter is meant to be a record of the most number of people consuming marijuana over video chat. At present, the challenge has attracted over 5,000 people, all of whom have signed up for the massive virtual burn session. There’s a feel-good factor attached to joining this challenge. Specifically, the proceeds collected from the entire exercise are to be matched by Diepenbrock and the proceeds channeled to the Last Prisoner Projected. The latter is important to any stoner or marijuana user, seeing as nearly 16 million individuals have been arrested on cannabis offenses which attract up to 10 years of incarceration. The non-profit to which these funds are surrendered is expected to help reduce the sentences and hopefully reduce the number of inmates that are serving time for nonviolent cannabis-related crimes in the United States.
An additional way that you could celebrate this year’s 4/20 would be to zone out to a weed-themed podcast or weed-related YouTube page. These come in especially handy when you are looking to spend time by yourself to completely unwind. These options provide you with the opportunity to completely forget the craziness of the world around you.
Fortunately, there are hundreds of shows that you could indulge in. You have the option of podcasts or channels that cover cannabis news and industry updates, cultivation tips, existing pot culture, and politics surrounding the indulging in weed.
We suggest that you consider podcasts from the CannaInsider, Getting Doug High, Casually Baked, and The Adam Dunn Show. If you prefer having visuals accompany your audio, we suggest that you consider TheWeedTube as the site has a host of content creators who share interesting videos on cannabis that would otherwise be banned or censored on YouTube. Overall, available to you is quite the catalog of content which you should consider weeding through to find what most entertains you.
Finally, consider hitting up online 4/20 sales, as these present an opportunity for you to save up on new gear. Due to the amount of attention the day receives, you are bound to stumble on a number of offers that could save you a pretty buck.
At present, it is estimated that 192 million individuals worldwide partake in marijuana. Popular culture has established the fourth of April as the official date for the celebration of the drug. Before the pandemic, the day has been patronized, with most users coming out to celebrate the day in what most view as a counter to legalization bottlenecks. While the two preceding years have not necessarily been conducive as it pertains to the celebration of 4/20, moving forward, the relaxation of some of the pandemic measures, including social distancing, should provide additional opportunities to commemorate the day. Overall, as we approach the 20th of April 2022, as a consumer, you are spoilt for choice as it pertains to observing the day that has unofficially become quite significant for cannabis users worldwide.
Where to get cannabis for 4/20 this year
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