News, Politics, and Culture from 14843

By Robert Cornell

What is the story behind the “4/20” holiday?

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NYS Police warn not to celebrate cannabis and drive, plan extra enforcement

By Andrew Harris

Every year, cannabis lovers take a day to celebrate what could be the most famous plant in the history of mankind. Only in recent years has the stigma attached to cannabis use faded, the hysteria is largely over, “reefer madness,” is now cannabis venture capitalism.

Today, at least in New York State, a budding industry is about to rapidly expand into a new economic sector. It is legal to share, smoke, eat, and vape in a responsible way. By 4/20/24, New Yorkers will be able grow cannabis at home.

The legend of this high holiday for cannabis has mostly been settled on beginning in 1971 with five kids in San Franciso, California. They used the term as a code for gathering together for an after-school smoke. The little gang was called “The Waldos,” and they eventually caught the attention of the then quite famous, Grateful Dead. The band liked the 4/20 code and the symbolism behind it.

Now, all over the world, every single day when the clock strikes 420, millions of people make a point to celebrate a moment together everyday, sometimes twice per day. It is a unique cultural phenomenon, only really comparable to religious rituals and of course happy hour. The difference is that those who celebrate the time on the clock or the date on the calendar do so intentionally as an act of community.

As part of that community, it is nice to think about everyone coming together, regardless of location, and feeling a little bit better after the moment. It is important to remember that for the vast majority of marijuana consumers, the plant makes you feel calmer, happier, and in general, brings people peace.

The power of human beings coming together en masse to find some peace and a little happiness is a very powerful force.

So as the world celebrates that notion and the plant that makes it all possible, public safety is a concern. NY State Police remind everyone that consuming cannabis and driving a vehicle is a DWI. Just like they treat holidays known for excessive alcohol consumption, targeted enforcement is planned:

“New York State police today announced that they will be stepping up patrols and targeting drug-impaired driving during an enforcement and prevention campaign on April 20.

The State Police reminds motorists that driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, including cannabis, is not only dangerous, it is illegal in New York State.”

So “what ever way your pleasure tends” today, please do so safely and responsibly.

Related reading: NYS Governor Kathy Hochul announced a new statewide campaign called “Why Buy Legal NY”, and this new website:

https://cannabis.ny.gov/consumers

She also offered this nod to the 4/20 holiday:

“April 20, commonly known as 4/20, has become a global phenomenon that celebrates cannabis culture and its evolving legal landscape. Initially a┬áprotest against┬ácannabis criminalization and the unequal enforcement of drug laws, the day now also marks a victory for advocates who have fought tirelessly to end cannabis prohibition. As we approach this highly anticipated day, it is crucial to reinforce health and safety messages and remind New Yorkers to consume cannabis responsibly. By launching the “Why Buy Legal New York” campaign across multiple platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and streaming services, New York State is ensuring that these vital messages reach as many people as possible at a time when awareness around cannabis is heightened.”

Got an appetite? Sit down and relax at the Rosebush on Main Street Alfred NY

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