I know i'm a bit late, but considering the state of some people a few days ago, I thought I'd tell you a little about National Smoke a Joint Day, and my thoughts on the topic of marijuana.
420. No, it's not the police code for a pot violation, nor is april 20th the best day to plant cannibas. The saying "420" has actually been traced back to 1971 and a group of 4 friends who called themselves "the Waldos."
The Waldos were just the classic group of close friends who got along with everybody. And they smoked pot! Every day after their respective sports' practices they would meet at 4:20pm and enjoy a doobie or three while in the company of good friends, and bright ideas. It's said they would go to a certain hillside where it was rumored that cannibas was growing, and search for the plant. Sounds like a gay (old) time. Their story was picked up by a magazine editor and the rest is history! The moral of this story? You can make an impact on the world by doing what is it you love to do! Even if that thing is smoking pot.
You may be asking, "what is this guy smoking? Marijuana is BAD," and it's well within your rights to think so. But let me let you in on a little secret: You're wrong!
The problem? Marijuana is illegal. This is due to a certain chain of events that occured in the 20s and 30s between industry and the US government. The hemp industry was just getting started at that time and it showed huge potential for paper products, pharmaceuticals, and even fuel. Sadly, a smear campaign was run against marijuana to keep the hemp industry from overtaking the forestry and pharmaceutical companies. The government supported this campaign because they needed to create jobs for the recently unemployed alcohol prohibitioners. They needed to find something for them to do, and that something, was to wage a war against marijuana. What a waste of millions of dollars a year of our taxes (which, by the way, continues to this day)! Little was known about the plant at that time so the facts about it were open for manipulation with nearly no opposition from the side of science and reason. Due to lack of funds, the hemp industry was unable to fight against the lies that were being fed to the nation.
This campaign's propaganda scared the shit out of everyone in the country, and there was no-one to reign it in and call the bluff. The propaganda that was used in this campaign still lives today, and it's sad. The perception of harm associated with marijuana is fueled by misinformation and fear. Most people are misinformed, including many people who hold public office, and they don't take marijuana seriously because of their ignorance. A contributing factor to this ignorance is the general lack of powerful representatives and supporters for the legalization of marijuana. I think this is because people are afraid to stand up for it. It's seen as evil, dangerous, and corrupting by the public. The same has been said of alcohol, but last time I checked there still hasn't been a single death related to marijuana abuse. Compared to the estimated 75,000 deaths a year that are linked to alcohol abuse.
The cannibas plant is not only nearly harmless to the body, but it's also quite uselful in the treatment of many human ailments: Cancers, glaucoma, chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, muscle spasms, crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis and inflamation in the brain are just a few examples of human suffering that marijuana has been proven to help with.
So what can we do? We can educate ourselves and the people around us. We need to let the government know that we want to make a change for the betterment of mankind by making marijuana legal and regulating it intelligently. The state of california has come the furthest so far in this endeavor. They are reported to have collected between 50 and 100 million dollars a year in marijuana tax revenue (although chacha.com says $3 billion. I'm not sure where to get exact numbers on this type of thing? If anyone has info please comment!) Imagine if the federal government were to sieze this opportunity! Maybe then government workers and their families wouldn't have to worry about a government shutdown that could leave them unable to feed their children. Educate yourselves people! Don't just take my word on this stuff. Mpp.org is one of the best sites I've been able to find with information on marijuana laws and also what we, the people, can do to move them forward in a positive way. This site and many others like it can help you find all the information you need to take an educated stand on the issue of the legalization of this very useful plant.
Oh, and happy 4:20.