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Mind Pilot

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Mystique of Number 420 Will Light Up Pot Parties
    #404325 - 04/20/10 07:35 PM (8 years, 2 months ago)

Mystique of Number 420 Will Light Up Pot Parties

cannabis Sacramento, CA -- Today is the Fourth of July of weed. At places such as Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, Porter Meadow at UC Santa Cruz and Redwood Park in Arcata, thousands will light up in celebratory smoke-ins.

The collective marijuana smoke, honoring April 20 and the "420" numeric nickname for pot, will thicken right around 4:20 p.m. That's when this most unusual of holidays pays tribute to the legend of a group of 1970s high school students in San Rafael, who gathered at 4:20 p.m. every day to smoke marijuana.

April 20 has morphed into a social, political and cultural event, with 4/20 fests lighting up college towns and urban centers from Seattle to Boulder, Colo., to New York City.

In San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, people are showing up and toking up, drawn by piqued awareness of the day and energized by a November ballot initiative seeking to legalize marijuana for recreational use in California.

"People are coming to Haight-Ashbury like the Grateful Dead is back in town," said longtime resident Jack Rikess. "They're walking down the street and smoking joints. It's going to be unreal. This could be the last illegal 4/20 in San Francisco."

Last week, UC Santa Cruz put out a notice about "an unsanctioned and unwelcome 4/20 gathering … that is likely going to be disruptive for many on campus and in the surrounding community."

But university officials are resigned to it happening.

In recent years, throngs of students and residents from Santa Cruz and beyond have gathered like football tailgaters, filling the air with smoke and pro-pot revelry.

University spokesman Barry Shiller said campus police "are going to keep an eye out for behavior that overtly demands their attention." But he said they will neither stop the event nor keep people from smoking pot.

The celebrations anger anti-drug-abuse advocates.

"This is a sad day," said Carla Lowe, who founded Californians for Drug Free Youth and now heads a political committee fighting marijuana legalization. "This whole thing is bogus. It's a fraud, a fad.

"Why do we find more kids smoking pot than cigarettes? I mean, they're taught in school that cigarettes are bad. I'm furious what this celebration is saying."

Even some marijuana advocates are leery of 4/20 revelry.

Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, which seeks alternatives to the drug war, penned a special 4/20 column. Calling for Americans to roll back pot laws, he wrote: "Don't just smoke a joint on 4/20 – take action against marijuana prohibition."


Complete Article: http://drugsense.org/url/83ioIHu1

Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Author: Peter Hecht
Published: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - Page 1A
Copyright: 2010 The Sacramento Bee
Contact: opinion@sacbee.com
Website: http://www.sacbee.com/


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