4 20 23

Published by Victor Barr on

Four twenty was celebrated in Canada. It is a day that weed smokers everywhere rejoice in the legality of their herbal enjoyment. 

It wasn’t always that way.

If someone had told me ten years ago that Canada would legalize the demon weed, I would have laughed at the thought. Yet a mere two years later the country elected a Liberal government that campaigned on just such an idea.

It was one of the few promises they kept. 

It has been a process and many people who hoped to earn their fortune on the legal version of marijuana have struggled to succeed. Government regulations have made the business onerous, to say the least. And many people still use the illicit market to access their supplies. Legalization has succeeded in many aspects though. It has driven the price for the black market bud down and made entrepreneurs out of former criminals. 

Prior to legalization April 20, was a day of protest, a day to gather in the park and thumb their noses at authority. For those of you who don’t know the term 420 comes from the time of day. In many colleges and workplaces, 4:20 was the time when classes and work were over and people rolled up a spliff and imbibed in a session of pot smoking.

I still find it hard to believe that weed has now gone mainstream.

There are now flavoured beverages and edibles for those who don’t like to smoke. Tinctures and balms also dot the market. And there are weed shops almost everywhere.

Contrast that to Nelson in 2013. There was an effort to decriminalize pot in the Kootenay town and dispensaries popped up along iconic Baker Street. I remember one such place at the end of the street that claimed religious freedom in its effort to skirt the laws against marijuana. Inevitably they were shut down by those who opposed the freedom they sought.  

Now, ten years later four legal cannabis stores line the beautiful streets of downtown Nelson. This 4:20 there were large celebrations all across North America. Now, the date has become huge and continues to grow. It has come a long way since 1971 when five San Rafael High School students in Marin County California first coined the phrase. 

I hope everyone had a happy four-twenty and continues to do so. For those who enjoy herbal medications, continue to enjoy them. And for those who don’t, I hope you find joy in your life no matter what. Stay safe and stay sane. Life is short, enjoy it.

Categories: Daily Journal


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