Should 4/20 be a national holiday?
via AP

Should 4/20 be a national holiday?

#Celebrate420
#NoPotheadHoliday
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April 20, or 4/20, has long been recognized as "National Weed Day," but some think it's high time the holiday became nationally recognized. As support for marijuana legalization grows, and marijuana is decriminalized across the country, 4/20 is a time to both celebrate progress and push further in the weed fight. But many think the idea of nationally recognizing a pothead holiday is ridiculous, and 4/20 should not share company with Veterans Day or Martin Luther King Day. What do you think? 🌿

THE VOTES ARE IN!
#Celebrate420
79.7%
#NoPotheadHoliday
20.3%

While the 4/20 origin story is still hotly debated among marijuana enthusiasts, it has evolved into an unofficial national holiday celebrating America's favorite illegal substance.

What 4/20 stands for varies from person to person. Some people just want to get high and have fun. Others see the day as a moment to push for legalization, or celebrate legalization now that more states are adopting it and it has popular opinion behind it.
Back in the 1970s, 4/20 was part of a smaller counterculture movement that embraced marijuana as a symbol to protest against broader systemic problems in the US, like overseas wars and the power of corporations in America. "Marijuana was the way you said you weren't a suit," Keith Humphreys, a drug policy expert at Stanford University, previously told me.

Many, like HBO's "Real Time" host and outspoken pothead Bill Maher, believe 4/20 should be recognized as a national holiday. Maher notes in his Change.org petition:

We celebrate everything from Arbor Day to Groundhog Day to a National Day of Prayer. It’s high time we had a weed day.

Many believe creating a "National Weed Day" would help eliminate the stigma surrounding marijuana use and help educate the public about its many benefits. Sure, some people just use 4/20 as an excuse to light up, but others use it as an opportunity to push for public policy. 

What started as a holiday deeply rooted in the counterculture movement of the 1960s has since turned into a mainstream holiday that everyone can partake in. Given the number of frivolous holidays that already exist, it seems perfectly reasonable that 4/20 become a national holiday.

But others say no way to a National Pothead Day. Marijuana legalization is one thing, promoting and celebrating drug use is another. 4/20 is just an excuse for potheads to smoke pot. It's not a noble cause and turning 4/20 into a national holiday risks normalizing it in the eyes of children.

As conservative legal expert Hans von Spakovsky argues:

1. Marijuana trafficking is linked to crimes ranging from assault and murder to money laundering and smuggling.
2. One of the greatest harms of marijuana legalization is increased addiction to and use of harder drugs.
3. Equating marijuana use with alcohol consumption is uninformed and misleading.

America is a long way away from celebrating marijuana use as something worth celebrating. Pot enthusiasts should stick to public policy and leave the holiday schedule alone.

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