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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Two Faces Of 4/20

  The stoners of Twitter and Reddit are getting all silly because it is April 20th. You see, April 20th has been designated as some sort of cannabis culture day, where revelers smoke weed like they do every other day, but this time it's on the street and in clubs.

  The origin of the event is based on a time of day, some teenagers in San Rafael, California would meet to smoke weed. The knowledge of the 4:20 was known amongst potheads all over, but took off when mentioned in periodicals like High Times. Translated into month and day, 4:20 became April 20th, and The People of the Pot found a day of celebration all their own.

  While the day originated in the United States and college kids and activists from numerous nations revel, Canada's 4/20 events have the largest crowds. A pot party is held near Parliament Hill in Ottawa and events in Vancouver, London, and Toronto even have bands and other acts.

  But the problem is that there is another party happening on April 20th; one that has gone on for much longer than the weed festival.

  Today is the 122nd anniversary of the birth of Adolf Hitler, former dictator of Germany and party to the ending of the lives of tens of millions of human beings. Yes, there are folks out there who dearly love the legend of the most notorious bigot and murderer mankind has ever produced. 4/20 is also a worldwide skinhead festival day- a day and night for racists to get together and drink in honour of a man who hated booze. Some gatherings are so well organized that they even have activities for the women and children. The men go on to serious discussions about how Jews and feminism are the source of all of their problems and bitch about the gay problem whilst secretly lusting after the nethers of the skinhead next to them.

  But some of the before and after parties are where you and I could run into problems today. You see, today is also the day that the teenage hillbillies-from-hell go and harass people who don't look like them. Sometimes these roughnecks even hurt people or worse.

  April 20th may be just another day on the calendar, but for two vastly different groups of people, it means something dear to them. I have no personal issue with pot nor those who use it, but I do have a serious problem with anyone stupid enough to celebrate anything on Adolf Hitler's birthday without thinking of the ramifications.

  I understand the battle over legalizing pot and the government's continued intrusions into private behaviour. These and many other issues do need to be addressed; there's almost always a good time for a protest. However, I think that it is disrespectful to the families of the millions of people who never lived to enjoy another smoke to celebrate a plant when the dudes down the street are memorializing a monster. Some dates have a permanent stain on them, and out of respect to all of those lost, we must reserve the day for recognizing just how evil some people truly are.

  The Neo-fascist movement is everything that the average rational-minded weed activist stands firmly against, so let them have 4/20. They had it first and they should keep it, lest the two become confused. My friends and I selected 4:21 as our toketime a long time ago, but it could be any other time really. For us, it's just a date on a calendar; for them, it's a date that signifies the decadent honouring of mass murder.

Be well.

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