Join 3,430 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The 420 Philosophy
April 20, 2001 3:35 PM   Subscribe

The 420 Philosophy gives a brief overview of the popular marijuana codeword and its likely origin. Today is, after all, 4/20; please celebrate responsibly.
posted by johnnyace (31 comments total)

 
Adults need to establish a code for cannabis, one that the children don’t understand. We also have to ritualize the use of cannabis and turn it into a rite of passage. That way, when teenagers reach the proper age, they can be inducted into adulthood by being awarded with the keys to the cannabis code.


I think this guy might have written this after 4:20 if he thinks this approach will reduce the number of kids trying pot. Make it a secret privy to adults only! Yeah, then they won't be curious or think it's cool! Dude, quit hoggin' the bong.
posted by gimli at 4:12 PM on April 20, 2001


Amen. April 20th always fills me with happy memories. (It's not about being a stoner. It's about changing the world.)

Thanks for the great link, Johnnyace.
posted by fraying at 4:13 PM on April 20, 2001


Ever since the Partnership for a Drug-Free America began putting ads on television targeting the use of cannabis by children, teenage pot-smoking has gone up. Obviously, the more you talk about marijuana in front of kids, the more curious they are going to be about it.

uh, unless i'm mistaken, those television ads were a reaction to increased pot usage in a certain age demographic.
posted by fuzzygeek at 4:27 PM on April 20, 2001


Ever since the Partnership for a Drug-Free America began putting ads on television targeting the use of cannabis by children, teenage pot-smoking has gone up. Obviously, the more you talk about marijuana in front of kids, the more curious they are going to be about it.

uh, unless i'm mistaken, those television ads were a reaction to increased pot usage in a certain age demographic.
posted by fuzzygeek at 4:27 PM on April 20, 2001


oops. close tag. guess i've been smoking something or something. i did read the article at exactly 4:20 on 4/20. ooooh. spooky.
posted by fuzzygeek at 4:29 PM on April 20, 2001


not to bring you down, fraying, but today is also the 'anniversary' of the Columbine shooting which the shooters chose(according to media sources) because it was Hitler's birthday.
posted by donkeysuck at 4:29 PM on April 20, 2001


Terrible things have happened on every day, let him have his happy memories of 4/20!
posted by Mark at 4:34 PM on April 20, 2001


Buzzkill! ;-)
posted by fraying at 4:35 PM on April 20, 2001


oops. close tag. guess i've been smoking something or something.

Err... umm... yeah, I was wondering what the hell was going on. I guess I'll post my comment now:

Two good links. The former good in a factual way (the question no pothead has known the answer to since I was 13 is answered) and the latter in an emotional way (Thanks Derek - you rule).

And add this:
not to bring you down, fraying, but today is also the 'anniversary' of the Columbine shooting which the shooters chose(according to media sources) because it was Hitler's birthday.

Yeah, he ruined the swastika too.
posted by redleaf at 4:36 PM on April 20, 2001


Actually, I'm glad people have a reason to feel good about 4/20, given the other associations. Hope my nitpicking post didn't start the buzzkill. BTW, that Fish Rap stuff is great, Derek!
posted by gimli at 4:43 PM on April 20, 2001


Never heard about this till today. Sheltered life I guess.
posted by owillis at 4:48 PM on April 20, 2001


So, did anyone see any reason to believe that "the Waldos" are telling the truth when they say they invented the term?
posted by webmutant at 5:43 PM on April 20, 2001


Uh oh. The squares are on to the 4/20 thing.
posted by norm at 5:50 PM on April 20, 2001


I've never smoked pot in my life and probably never will, and I've known about 420 for, oh, six months?
posted by kindall at 5:59 PM on April 20, 2001


Heh, where do you people live? I'm no stoner but 420 is pretty common knowledge around here... Maybe it's cause I'm in high school. Happy 420 :)
posted by swank6 at 6:14 PM on April 20, 2001


I've known about 420 for years! Finally, my Santa Cruz education puts me intrinsically ahead of the curve on something!

Though I'm rather surprised it's still considered "underground" at all. Bay Area radio stations regularly have advertisements for "420 lifestyle accessories" all the time....
posted by youhas at 6:21 PM on April 20, 2001


Same here, owillis. I had it explained to me and decided it was... imbecilic.
I just don't get marijuana use. First, smoking anything is, to me, repulsive. Second, addiction ('psychological' or not - it's still addiction) is a distressing idea. Mainly, though, it's that it seems like such a silly idea to try to enhance your life with a substance like that. Tanjit, there's enough to feel and see and experience in this world without substance abuse. I can have fun and be creative without it.
I've given up arguing to drug-users I know about it. It's their life. And, in the back of my head, Darwin is laughing. ;)
posted by Ravagin at 8:51 PM on April 20, 2001


Several students were apprehended by police at my school today. I looked into it for a newspaper article (I couldn't get much info, so the article isn't really up yet) and found that the police officers were there in response to a call from the security staff reporting a larceny. However, everyone who saw the apprehension seemed to think it was for drug possession of some sort. I wonder if they just sort of made that assumption based on the date.
posted by Ravagin at 8:55 PM on April 20, 2001


(Let me clarify my use of the word "imbecilic." I meant that in reference to smoking pot today because of the date... I just don't follow the logic. It wasn't in reference to pot use in general - insulting those I disagree with gets me nowhere.)
posted by Ravagin at 9:23 PM on April 20, 2001


Ravagin said: "It seems like such a silly idea to try to enhance your life with a substance like that. Tanjit, there's enough to feel and see and experience in this world without substance abuse. I can have fun and be creative without it."

It can be argued that substance usage is yet another way to experience the world. Those of us who choose to not imbibe are denying ourselves an opportunity, just like people who choose to spend the day inside on a computer rather than go experience a sunrise or a rainbow or a spring shower first-hand. Each person has their reasons for either partaking or abstaining. For some, the reasons are more personal than others. There are no real right or wrong answers here. Simply choices, opinions, actions and consequences.

There are those who think it silly to waste one's time watching a sunset. There are others who believe such an experience enriches one's life. Who's right? Who's wrong? There are those who believe guns are a threat. Others believe guns are fun. Still others believe them a necessity, and yet still others simply take them for granted as a natural part of their lives, and practically from birth were reared to respect them. Who's right? Who's wrong? All? None? Some? Whoever happens to agree with your opinion?

Do you personally equate drug usage to a rainbow, or to putting a bullet in your head? The opinion, the choice, the reasoning is entirely yours to make. But make no mistake: Drugs are not evil. Drugs are not heaven. They are tools. Just as a hammer can be used to either build a house or cave in a skull, so too can drugs be used to either assist human beings or destroy them.

As for 4:20, don't you all know? IT IS ALWAYS SIX O'CLOCK! AHORA NEOISMUS!
posted by ZachsMind at 12:16 AM on April 21, 2001


I hate Drug Bores.

They know cannabis can be an asset if used intelligently

Perhaps the real drug warning should be "please remove head from arse before taking"
posted by fullerine at 2:46 AM on April 21, 2001


I think, ZachsMind, that I see it then as a dangerous tool which I do not need.
posted by Ravagin at 5:04 AM on April 21, 2001


And you have a right to your opinion. I happen to share it. That does not diminish the opinions of others however. That's what I think I'm trying to say. =)

I also ask you (if you don't already) to consider to be open-minded and at least listen to the experiences of the occasional drug-user. I've had the pleasure of hearing people describe their experiences with drugs. Though I refuse to partake, one person talked about 'tracers' the way a child might talk about discovering tadpoles in their grandmother's pond for the first time. Filled with wide-eyed excitement and serendipitous fervor.

I advise against listening to people describe their "Xstacy" excursions though. I find such talk to induce cavities. Smarmy mushy sugary icky love-in type stuff. I'm sure some people go for that but it made me physically ill just to listen to it. Rev. Ivan Stang was once going to compile/edit/write a book called Bummer which was going to be a compilation of recollections from drug-users - both good trips and bad. Last time I spoke to him he shelved the idea. Darn shame.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:25 AM on April 21, 2001


The only things dangerous about cannabis are ignorance, FUD, and the DEA.
posted by sudama at 10:37 AM on April 21, 2001


I do respect their opinions. I just also strongly disagree with them. I think I have a right to both, as long as I balance them properly.
posted by Ravagin at 1:45 PM on April 21, 2001


I advise against listening to people describe their "Xstacy" excursions though. I find such talk to induce cavities. Smarmy mushy sugary icky love-in type stuff. I'm sure some people go for that but it made me physically ill just to listen to it.

Yes yes. You're absolutely right. Clarity, compassion, understanding and communication make me sick as a dog as well. That drug is the spawn of Satan.

Oooh, hey, COPS is on... Gotta go...
posted by fooljay at 1:55 PM on April 21, 2001


I am, by turns, saddened and angered by the ignorance of people who think that pot smoking must necessarily equal addiction. of any sort.

i've known, since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, scores of pot smokers, and I can say authoritatively that that just is not the case.

but that wasn't what I wanted to say, because I've said it before and, as with lots of morality-based issues, not a lot of minds are going to be changed by any amount of opposing viewpoint. what I *wanted* to say was that I'm surprised too anyone thinks '420' is 'underground'. Didja catch last week's "Boston Public", by any chance? First time I'd ever seen it; part of a minor subplot about an assistant principal on a suspension rampage had him shredding some hapless stoner's ass for putting up 420 posters allegedly for a study hall that met at 4:20.

the character of the assistant principal is the kind of guy who's no one's idea of 'underground'. probably neither is the viewing audience of "Boston Public".

... wonder if that little bit of sidelong education of the non-hip viewing public came courtesy of the ONDCP? Barry McCaffrey and David E. Kelley in a governmental conspiracy to oppress the pot-smoking masses, maaaan. Sounds ludicrous, but US public policy where pot is concerned often is.

(yes, that's a Salon link, but to a real news story that they actually broke, so they deserve it.)
posted by Sapphireblue at 2:10 PM on April 21, 2001


You're all addicted to Metafilter....

sweet milky coffee
eyes like eskimo goggles
stoned in Seattle
posted by roboto at 3:28 AM on April 22, 2001


haha 24/7
posted by redleaf at 7:12 AM on April 22, 2001


The truism I've discovered:
Pot takes good people and makes them mediocre.
That's why I stay away, and advise others to.

Also:
ZachsMind: So, if I like huffing oven cleaner, that's a valid lifestyle choice, and it's up to me, and no one can tell me it's wrong? Come on. Things have worth. Things can be debated.
posted by droob at 8:12 AM on April 22, 2001


Whoop, for a minute there I thought your name was "doob", droob. Thought there was a pot-smoker-calling-the-kettle-black joke to be had somewhere. Oh well.
posted by rodii at 5:36 PM on April 22, 2001


« Older The estate of a divorced father is freed from payi...  |  ¿Headed south anytime soon?... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments