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4.20.2010

420 is Cool (but not because of smoking or legalizing weed...) - Debunking 420 Myths

I am often amazed by how willing people are to suspend disbelief in a myth.

Today is April 20, 2010 (a.k.a. 4/20).

The date is honored by many habitual marijuana smokers as a sort of "holiday" - a reason to smoke or otherwise consume marijuana (as if a rationale were needed...). It has since come to represent activism aimed at legalizing "weed" as well.

An urban mythology has sprung up around the number 420 and its association with marijuana use (principally marijuana smoking). As with most valued mythologies, there is a strong willingness of "believers" to avoid facts contrary to their beliefs.

Not that there is anything wrong with having a date to celebrate the consumption of marijuana, per se. Although I quit smoking weed after college years ago (as most people do...), I advocate its use and decriminalization on rational, scientific grounds.

You see, reality waits for no man or woman, and it doesn't care what you believe or how far into the sand or up your ass you would like to stick your head. Therefore, truth seeking should trump all else for rational people, pot smokers or otherwise.

I'm alarmed that there are not more hoax busters out there. I don't consider myself a credible debunker of urban hoaxes, but even my half-assed perusal of the available facts yielded much valuable information.

Here are some basic facts I found.

1. 420 is NOT the police dispatch code for ANY crime, much less drug crimes. (REFERENCE)
2. 420 is NOT the California penal code for marijuana use. Section 420 of the California penal code deals with obstructing entry onto public lands. (REFERENCE)
3. April 20 is NOT the date of death for Jimi Hendrix (Sept 18), Jim Morrison (July 3), or Janis Joplin (Oct 4). (REFERENCE)
4. April 20 (1889) IS Adolf Hitler's birthday. (REFERENCE)
5. April 20 IS the date of the Columbine CO school shootings. (REFERENCE)
6. 420 IS the sum of four consecutive prime numbers (101, 103, 107, and 109). (REFERENCE)
7. 420 IS the smallest number divisible by ALL the digits 1 through 7. (REFERENCE)

Humans seem to have this hard wired penchant for clinging to ritualistic beliefs, even in the face of contradicting facts (or they willfully avoid said facts). It must have had a protective function for uniting early humans together against common foes, but it often seems absurd in the modern age.

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