On 4/20, an apparent national holiday has been established, in which thousands of Americans celebrate each and every year. It’s the day in which these Americans, mostly those of generation Z, celebrate a drug that still remains illegal in most of the country: Marijuana.
Some people have used this day as a tradition and cherish it, using it as a reason to smoke up with friends and massive crowds of people every year. It’s also a reason to take off from work and school and focus on the weed. But from where did this originate?
There are several myths and legends about the origins of the date, including one about 420 being the code used by police to identify marijuana smoking. One interesting story, which has been backed up on numerous occasions, traces back to 1971 with 5 students. These 5 students in California, which seems to be the hub for marijuana enthusiasts, always met at 4:20pm to smoke pot, because this is when their daily activities usually ended. The “Waldos,” which was the group’s name, became pretty famous for their shenanigans.
Of course, not everyone celebrates this holiday or feels as adamant about celebrating it as others do. The question arises of whether it is even an ethical holiday. Should marijuana be legalized, and is the plant beneficial to the citizens of America?
Many have argued on its medicinal benefits, and its potential research for further treatments and cures. There have been partial studies on epilepsy, cancer pain, PTSD, and anxiety, all in which marijuana has shown some positive effect towards. Therefore, strict guidelines and enforcement of laws on cannabis have inhibited certain research facilities from coming up with big advancements in this almost miraculous healing drug.
It is obviously not only used for medicinal purposes, considering there is a whole holiday dedicated to the drug. However, there appear to be more positive effects of the drug rather than negative. As opposed to weed, alcohol has similar effects as being high, minus the possible treatments and medicinal benefits. There are actually more deaths involving the use of alcohol rather than the use of weed, with cognitive impairments associated with Marijuana use having been overestimated. There are also no signs of its ability to be addictive and it can not be compared to other drugs, such as LSD, opioids, and other hard narcotics.
Furthermore, marijuana use is often tied to minorities, especially African-Americans. This leads to a huge gap in marijuana-related arrests between white Americans and Black Americans. Subsequently, there tends to be more violence within communities with mainly black members, leading to a gap in resources and education within various communities. Today, support for the legalization is fairly high, with two-thirds of citizens in favor, and 9 states having made it legal. With the legalization of marijuana, these states, because of obviously less marijuana arrests, have decreased criminal activity to some extent.
Looking at the facts, think about the long-term effects and how much marijuana would be advantageous to our country.