Today is a day that many people identify with one specific activity, to quote wikpedia:
April 20 (4/20 in U.S. date notation) has evolved into a counterculture holiday, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis. Some events have a political nature to them, advocating for the decriminalization of non-medical cannabis in the United States.
Happy counterculture holiday everyone!
Cannabis culture in general seems to be changing in the U.S. Over the past few years many states have legalized the medical use of marijuana, and probably just as many of those states have also had police raids on some of their licensed dispensaries.
It’s clear with even a brief look, we’re conflicted.
And I still wonder why. As someone who has taught a few years of freshman english, where I allowed students to choose their topics for reasearch papers, I have read quite a bit of research trying to show that marijuana should be legalized for not only medical, but recreational use.
They make a cute point, cutely.
Movies like “Pineapple Express,” and, well, every other movie Seth Rogen was making for awhile, promote lifestyles that include marijuana. Actor/comedian Zach Galifianakis, pulled out a joint and smoked it on live TV. Granted, it was on Bill Maher’s talk show but I’m pretty sure Galifianakis didn’t face any repercussions. Meanwhile, pot-smoking legend Willie Nelson gets arrested for weed, gets a slap on the wrist and, in the media, it’s laughed about because, well, it just doesn’t seem to be a big deal.
If you look for a reason why it is illegal, there are mixed views. To cite a source of the interwebs, drugwarrant.com
Many people assume that marijuana was made illegal through some kind of process involving scientific, medical, and government hearings; that it was to protect the citizens from what was determined to be a dangerous drug.
The actual story shows a much different picture. Those who voted on the legal fate of this plant never had the facts, but were dependent on information supplied by those who had a specific agenda to deceive lawmakers. You’ll see below that the very first federal vote to prohibit marijuana was based entirely on a documented lie on the floor of the Senate.
You’ll also see that the history of marijuana’s criminalization is filled with:
- Protection of Corporate Profits
- Yellow Journalism
- Ignorant, Incompetent, and/or Corrupt Legislators
- Personal Career Advancement and Greed
Now, all personal opinions aside, you can’t deny that with bigger issues such as Gay Equality on the agenda, it’s no wonder that marijuana/cannabis/weed/pot or whatever you call it, and the use of it, doesn’t seem to be quite as big a deal in the media anymore.
My question is, will this mainstreaming of a counterculture in the media actually effect a change in legality? If so, how will we think of it then? Will 4:20 become an actually recognized celebration? At least… more than it currently is.
I really don’t know.