Cannabis’ most sacred date and number 420 has come a long way since the number was used as a secret code for cannabis smoking teenagers to get together in San Rafael in the 1970s. However, in 2017, cannabis culture has infiltrated the mainstream masses, and consuming cannabis in any form has become commonplace. It is no longer a taboo topic of discussion and no longer something your parents will shun you for. In fact, the high holy day of 420 is now an international marketing scheme in the cannabis sector. Cannabis-related companies employ an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 full- and part-time workers in the U.S., according to Marijuana Business Daily, and 420 is the Black Friday of the cannabis market. Despite these cultural and economic changes, the 420 holiday is more important than ever to observe because it’s the only day we truly have that represents cannabis consumers and the lengthy and painful history of getting it legal and accessible across the country.
The underground nature of cannabis has become a thing of the past. America is more aware and accepting of the lifestyle and vocabulary related to the cannabis world, in part thanks to popular culture, television, movies, comic books, video games, publications, and the legal evolution of the plant. With the prevalence of legal cannabis in many states, there is little reason to fear the all-natural substance, let alone to remain ignorant about it—it is all around us.
On the business side of things, 420 is a day to find great bargains on cannabis goods, and for dispensary owners, it is truly great for business. “Yes, 4/20 really does show a large increase in sales,” Justin Viviani, manager of The Oregon Weedery, told CNN Money. “Last year 4/20 was on Wednesday, traditionally our slowest day of the week, and we saw a 300% increase in visits and sales.”
420 is a day to remember the struggles, the deaths, the long-standing fight involved with getting access to medical and then eventually recreational cannabis for all Americans. This is the only day we have as a community, not just to celebrate all the amazing strides we’ve taken in recent years, in our struggle to legalize the cannabis plant, but also to celebrate those who helped us get to where we are today. In our tedious and difficult battle for reformation and legalization, many great people have spent their entire lives and deaths fighting for this cause.
420 events across the globe bring together cannabis enthusiasts for a day to unify and celebrate. It’s a celebration of acceptance, of community, and propels the visibility we need to continue on the path towards total legalization.
Much like the historical evolution of the Christmas holiday and how the birth of Christ is not always the number one thing celebrated at Christmas holiday parties, 420 doesn’t always translate into a remembrance of how far we have come in this fight, and how many people have helped get us the acceptance and legalization we have today, but it is the official holiday to celebrate cannabis in all walks of life, and embrace one another. While you’re getting ready to partake in this special day, take a moment to remember this day in honor of the many activists who spent their lives fighting for your right to use that herb, and share a toke with a friend.