Happy 4/20. Here’s What We’re Celebrating Today.

by Kevin

Today’s the day. The greatest holiday in the world centered around the celebration of trees. Sorry, Christmas. Sorry, Arbor Day. Hopefully you’re celebrating so enthusiastically today you’re not even bothering to read this. In which case, happy April 21st. 

Despite our efforts, there’s still a strong social (and still legal, in many cases) prohibition against using cannabis. And of course, that prohibition is silly as hell, based largely in outdated and racist philosophies. But it can get under your skin. So here are twenty things (divided into four groups… get it?) that’ll remind you what we’re celebrating on 4/20.

Allen Ginsberg said it best: Pot Is Fun.

Food tastes better when you’re high. It’s not just you, and it’s not just the munchies. THC, the psychoactive chemical in pot that gets you high, also sharpens your sense of taste and smell. It won’t help you enjoy foods you don’t like, but it will help increase the positive sensations associated with your favorite (especially sugary) foods. 

Everything’s funnier when you’re high. Like, way funnier. Pot encourages a phenomenon called “divergent thinking” which is the ability to make connections between comments that might seem unrelated. It also lights up parts of the brain normally associated with laughter – put a stoner in an MRI and you’ll see it.

Movies are more engrossing when you’re high. This doesn’t necessarily work for everyone, and it works in different ways for the people who are affected by it. But the divergent thinking we mentioned above? That works for less guffaw-inducing activities as well. You’ll notice little things about movies you may not have noticed before – emotional undertones, camera or editing flourishes, or subtle plot details. Try it! 

Pot can help introverts and people with social anxiety have more fun in social situations. The National Social Anxiety Center encourages sufferers to try cannabis to alleviate their nervousness. They note that it’s not a panacea, and stop short of officially endorsing it, but admit the benefits and trust people to make their own decisions. 

Using cannabis is better than drinking booze. Two words: No hangover. Also, while weed may give you the munchies, it’s generally calorie-free, and even edibles have a pretty low calorie content in relation to THC. 

Weed has given us really awesome art.

Plenty of great music has been written about weed (and/or recorded under its influence). We’re right smack in the middle of a pretty comprehensive series of articles about the best weed songs ever recorded – from artists ranging from Cab Calloway to Snoop Dogg. And there aren’t even any jam bands on our list! 

Stoner movies are an absolute blast. And there’s no shortage of them. We also have a very-incomplete list of great stoner movies – the genre goes beyond Cheech, Chong, Harold and Kumar. As weed becomes more and more legalized, the jokes about it in movies will probably change, but rest assured that the joke about someone’s high-strung, straitlaced mom accidentally eating a pot brownie isn’t going anywhere for at least a century or two.

Weed culture has produced some great TV shows. If you think about it, TV can’t really compete with the theater when it comes to great stories about weed and stoners. Nobody is sure why – maybe we can blame the glut of police procedurals over the last 40 years. But there are a few, like High Maintenance (which is excellent and which you should definitely watch) and Disjointed (which… well, points to Netflix for making a weed sitcom). 

Pot can aid your own creative process. More scientific research is needed, but there’s no shortage of anecdotal data about how pot can help tap your creativity.

Oh yeah. Reading too. Literature of the Beat Era is rife with great weed stories. And some people swear reading high helps them enjoy books more.

We’re celebrating cultural and legal victories all the time.

The United States has plenty of politicians truly devoted to full legalization. Nine governors got top marks from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws last year, and even more got near-top marks. That represents a boost from previous years.

Sure, 2020 sucks, but we had a lot of solid wins in 2019. The House Judiciary Committee became the first-ever congressional panel to approve a bill to end federal prohibition of cannabis. That might feel like a cosmetic victory, but it’s huge. Plus Illinois – the city that Chicago calls home – legalized pot in 2019. 

Weed resources are getting better. Last year, Weedmaps, one of the top cannabis purchasing resources on the web, de-listed businesses that aren’t officially licensed from their states. That means higher quality weed and a higher quality purchasing experience overall. 

Wait. Did we say 2020 sucks? Because things are looking up. Liberal changes to marijuana laws are on the ballot in nearly 20 states this year, and as time goes on, attitudes toward weed are becoming more and more positive. Kids being born today will almost certainly see full legalization in their lifetimes. 

If John Boehner can change, anyone can change. Remember Boehner? Speaker of the House during Obama’s first term? Ultraconservative? Once said he was “unalterably opposed” to legalization? Yeah, it’s amazing what an emerging industry with loads of wealth can do.

Marijuana can make you healthier.Happy 4/20. Here’s What We’re Celebrating Today.

It’s good for migraines. Many doctors are dissatisfied with the amount of research performed on medical marijuana, and there’s no question that a lot more needs to be done. But the efficacy of pot use on migraines is one thing that there seems to be massive agreement on.

It might help defeat superbugs. There’s a pretty wide variety of chemical compounds in pot other than THC and CBD. One of those is CBG, which may serve as a defense against certain kinds of antibiotic-resistant diseases.

It’s a wonderful mental health aid. In addition to its common use as a pain reliever, cannabis can have strong effects on mood – often to the extent of giving relief to sufferers of severe depression and anxiety. Rather than gluing you to the couch, pot can often improve the lives of depression patients, helping them to get out of bed and tackle the day.

It helps Crohn’s Disease and Colitis sufferers. The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, one of the leading resources for information on these painful gastrointestinal afflictions, has called for more research to be performed on marijuana’s ability to combat them – in large part due to the number of patients who say it gives them relief.

It helps Parkinson’s sufferers. The Parkinson’s Foundation delves deep into the relief cannabis can bring its patients on its website. 

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