It's 4/20--Which Celebrities, and Republicans, Have Smoked Pot? And Why 4/20?

It's 4/20--a silly day to get high for some, a ritualized part of cannabis culture and the fight for legalization for others, and a big irritant for many a high school teacher, no doubt.

Why the hype surrounding this particularly date in the calendar? The Wikipedia entry on 4/20elucidates the (only slightly dubious) origins of the numberic symbolism:

The term was allegedly coined by a group of teenagers in San Rafael, California in 1971.[2][3] Calling themselves the Waldos, because "their chosen hang-out spot was a wall outside the school,"[4] the group first used the term in connection to a fall 1971 plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop that they had learned about.[5] The Waldos designated the Louis Pasteur statue on the grounds of San Rafael High School as their meeting place, and 4:20 p.m. as their meeting time.[4] The Waldos referred to this plan with the phrase "4:20 Louis". Multiple failed attempts to find the crop eventually shortened their phrase to simply "4:20", which ultimately evolved into a codeword the teens used to mean pot-smoking in general.[5]
High Times Creative Director Steven Hager was the first person to track down the Waldos and publish their account of the origins of the term. Hager wrote "Are You Stoner Smart or Stoner Stupid?" (October 1998) in which he called for 4:20 p.m. to be the socially accepted hour of the day to consume cannabis. "I believe 420 is a ritualization of cannabis use that holds deep meaning for our subculture," wrote Hager. "It also points us in a direction for the responsible use of cannabis."

Today, both Mother Jones and the Daily Beasthave fun listicles about pot-smoking famous folks.

Mother Jones breaks down the relationships between leading GOPers and pot, including Sarah Palin's laissez-faire attitude, Mitch Daniel's youthful bust for possessing shoeboxes full of the sticky green stuff, and Mike Huckabee's dramatic on-air confrontation with one-half of Cheech and Chong.

Meanwhile, the Daily Beast has a gallery of pot-puffing starsthat goes far beyond likely suspects Snoop Dogg, Woody Harrelson and Willie Nelson--did you know that Jennifer Aniston and Kristen Dunst smoke--and that Whoopi Goldberg was high when she got her Oscar?

Happy 4/20, and even in the midst of the silliness, don't forget the wastefulness and racism inherent in the "war on drugs."

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at April 20, 2011, 7:38am

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