The United States has come a long way from declaring War on Drugs in 1971 to now, when President Joe Biden is welcoming the decriminalization of Marijuana. The country marked the golden jubilee of 4/20 or the annual day of cannabis on Tuesday, the unofficial holiday celebrating the use of weed.
President Biden’s White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday said that the Democrat leader supports a state’s right to legalize recreational marijuana. During a press briefing at the White House, Psaki said that the president supports the case for letting states decide the legalization of cannabis for recreational use. Psaki further said that the government has decided to reschedule cannabis as a Schedule II drug so researchers can study its positive and negative impacts and, at the federal level, Biden supports decriminalizing marijuana use and automatically expunging any prior criminal records.
According to a report by Daily Mail, marijuana activists in New York City handed out free joints to vaccinated residents. The Weed day celebrations were more significant this year as an increasing number of states legalized the drug for adult recreational use. In the US, around 15 states and Washington have so far done so and in 36 states, marijuana is permitted for medical use. However, Cannabis remains illegal at the federal level.
There are several stories on why April 20 is celebrated as the Marijuana day. But one of the most credible stories is from 1971. According to this story, the number became significant in Marin County, California, where a group of five students at San Rafael High School would meet at 4:20 pm by the campus’ statue of chemist Louis Pasteur for recreational use of marijuana. The group of marijuana consumers decided to meet at that specific time because extracurricular activities had usually ended by then. The group included Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz, and Mark Gravich, who went on to be known as the “Waldos” because they met at a wall. The group eventually started using the number 420 as a code for marijuana.