The Marijuana Culture
A distinct culture has developed around marijuana use. Informing yourself on these cultural norms and icons will provide you with an inside scoop that could reveal marijuana use.
The numbers “4, 20″ have a playful, but prominent, place in the dialogue of most marijuana smokers -particularly youthful marijuana smokers. The origins of the reference are mired in mystery, with the most credible account linking back to a small 1970′s California tradition. Regardless of its roots, the term has profound implications. Much to the dismay of colleges, high schools and law enforcement, the world’s biggest group pot smoke, occurs each year on April 20th (4/20) at 4:20 in the afternoon. Of course, most users smoke much more frequently than once a year, so 4:20 has become a favorite time of day to meet and share a smoke.
More importantly, the numbers have become a veritable “bat signal” for those within the marijuana culture. They are used in any combination that, when spoken, will be read “four twenty”. If you pay attention, you will see these numbers on bumper stickers, customized license plates, T-shirts and other forms of personal expression. Personal adds and internet profiles frequently mention whether the person is “420 friendly”, and it is the most common way for one person to ask another if they want to smoke. How mainstream how this term become? Well the medicinal marijuana bill passed by the California legislature went by the official title of “SB420″.
If you see this number combination scribbled on the cover of your son’s science book, the gig is up. Watch for any other paraphernalia that makes a similar reference. If you see it blip across your daughter’s phone in a text message, on the computer in an email, or maybe hear it spoken in conversation while your chauffeur her and her friends around town, know that you’ve got some investigating to do.
It is not intellectually dishonest to assume that a person who supports the legalization of marijuana, is likely a marijuana smoker herself. Having this in mind, it is a good idea to be aware of the iconic pro-pot groups. Their emblems, which can be very subtle, have also become personal advertisements that are commonly displayed by marijuana users. NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and MPP, the Marijuana Policy Project are two of the most recognizable organizations.