April 20 is celebrated worldwide as “4/20 Day,” a celebration of marijuana that dates back to a high school tradition among Marin County teenagers to smoke pot at 4:20 p.m.
Over the past several decades, the drug has lost much of its stigma; even President Barack Obama was once a proud member of Punahou High School’s “Choom Gang.” Now, marijuana activists in California hope that a referendum on the ballot in November will legalize the drug in the Golden State once and for all.
California once led the way in legalizing marijuana, becoming the first state to legalize medical marijuana in the 1990s. It has since been outpaced by other states, such as Colorado, which legalized marijuana for virtually all purposes in recent statewide votes.
Support for legalizing marijuana in California has reached a national high, and backers of the initiative include Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, already a frontrunner for governor in 2018. Many other states will consider similar measures.
But not everyone is on board. Current Gov. Jerry Brown is known to be skeptical, though his administration approved last-minute regulations for the medical marijuana industry last year.
The Los Angeles Times reports that one athlete, Chris Barnicle, is doing his best to de-stigmatize the drug by running a four-minute mile while high on pot. And across the state today, groups of enthusiasts for the drug — which many tout as less harmful than alcohol — will light up in stoned solidarity.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new e-book, Leadership Secrets of the Kings and Prophets: What the Bible’s Struggles Teach Us About Today, is on sale through Amazon Kindle Direct. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.