Opinion

Stoners’ New Year passes without notice

One of the most celebrated, and anticipated, American holidays occurred this week. And no, I am not talking about Patriots’ Day. It is the holiday that is not covered in any newscasts or daily papers, and they don’t sell decorations for it at Party City. I am, in fact, referring this past Wed., April 20, a day known as the Stoners’ New Year: 420.

If you didn’t know that it is the international code word for smoking marijuana-especially at 4:20 and on 4/20-you are not as with it as you may have thought. If you were one of the few that wasn’t in on the “secret” don’t worry, you are not alone. The term floats just below the radar of many baby boomer parents who are totally clueless about the vast underground that celebrates the term. Administration of both high schools and college campuses also tend to be oblivious to the fact that class sizes abruptly shrink on the infamous day in April. But you won’t see many students complaining.

For example, my 4/20 began with my arrival at my 9 a.m. class only to find a big “class cancelled” sign outside the door. Normally I would have thought nothing of it; however, when the same thing occurred in two other classes, I began to realize the pattern. Wouldn’t you? The one class I did attend had roughly 15 students missing in a normally 45-person class. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to insinuate anything. It is quite possible that those professors and students could have been ill, out of town, or just plain too tired to get out of bed. Coincidences are coincidences and like I said, I am not one to complain.

So why have so many embraced the 4/20 concept? 420 is a ritual of cannabis use that holds deep meaning for our subculture. From Vermont to California, Florida to Oregon, legions of pot smokers convened on Wednesday in groups large and small, in public and private, to light up a joint and protest the illegality of their beloved weed, which they claim has many medical benefits and manufacturing applications as hemp. It is believed the term originated in 1971. Five San Rafael High School students christen the term “4:20,” meeting daily at that hour to share a smoke under the school’s statue of Louis Pasteur. The original password: “420 Louis.” The pop-culture world has also utilized the code; the clocks in movies such as Pulp Fiction and Lost in Translation are set to 4:20.

So my advice to you is whether or not you participate in the certain activities that coincide with 4/20, next year, kick back, relax and enjoy the unofficial holiday with your fellow college students.

Keep in mind though…even though some law officials may be oblivious to the Stoners’ Holiday, it is still illegal, no matter what day of the year.

Lauren Knight can be conacted at l.knight1@umiami.edu.

April 22, 2005

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Either the Miami Hurricanes get a collective adrenaline rush from heart-palpitating fourth quarters, ...

View photos from the Syracuse at Miami game Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami G ...

CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G6: Time again for the latest installment of the Canesfan Satisfaction ...

Syracuse student writer Matthew Gutierrez of The Daily Orange asked me to answer some of his questio ...

After this past University of Miami football game, coach Mark Richt said the crowd came alive during ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

Syracuse visits Miami on Saturday, October 21st at Hard Rock Stadium. ...

Thirty years ago, the 1987 Hurricanes achieved perfection. This weekend they are back where it all b ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Behind a historic performance from senior Olga Strantzali, the University of Miami volleyball team b ...

The Miami women's tennis team opened play Friday at the ITA Southeast Regional Championships Pr ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.