Clearing the air on the origins of 420, the unofficial national marijuana holiday

first_imgiStock/Tunatura(NEW YORK) — The origins of the so-called pot holiday “420” are — fittingly — fuzzy.Some people will say that the holiday’s name traces back to a police code. Others, meanwhile, believe that something happened on April 20 many years ago. The near-universal consensus, however, is that “420” is a reference to the time of day.Weed lore dictates that in the early 1970s, a group of teens attending San Rafael High School, about 19 miles north of San Francisco, would as a code word of sorts to indicate a smoke session after school.The group of teens, who reportedly dubbed themselves “the Waldos,” would whisper “420 Louis” to one another in the halls as a way to spread word that they’d be meeting at 4:20 p.m. near the school’s statue of Louis Pasteur.“Back then, we spent every day of our lives worrying about getting busted. Going to buy was a really secret thing,” Waldo member Steve Capper told The San Francisco Chronicle.While it started as something of an inside joke, “420” has stuck. It is still used to this day as a code among people who are marijuana friendly.Dan Skye, a longtime editor at High Times magazine, told ABC News in 2011 that while the number’s relationship to marijuana began in San Rafael, it’s gone well past that.“It’s basically just a celebration of cannabis. It’s mushroomed into our unofficial national holiday,” Skye said at the time.Now that marijuana has been legalized in a number of states and decriminalized in many others, the secretive — and sometimes paranoid — allure of a huddled smoke may be fading. According to a 2018 Gallup poll, 66% of Americans now support marijuana legalization, an increase from 60% in 2016 and 31% in 2000.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Haiti Still Needs World’s Help: UN Aid Chief

first_imgBy Dialogo October 03, 2011 The United Nations aid chief called for continued humanitarian assistance to Haiti, stressing the crisis in a country still reeling from last year’s monster earthquake. Visiting the country during a two-day evaluation mission, Valerie Amos said the 600,000 people still living in camps have urgent needs for basic food, water, sanitation and housing services. “I visited camps and see for myself the difficult conditions. I was told about significant deterioration of hygiene and sanitation since the departure of many NGOs which have run out of money,” Amos told reporters. The humanitarian situation has been further aggravated by a cholera epidemic, food insecurity for 4.5 million people and an active hurricane season that has already destroyed homes and crops. “It’s clear that here in Haiti there are still significant unmet needs in water and sanitation, food insecurity persists and of course this is a country which is vulnerable to further outbreaks of cholera and to recurring natural disasters,” Amos said. She warned that while Haiti has made progress since the January 2010 earthquake that leveled the capital, killed more than 225,000 people and left one in seven homeless, “much more needs to be done.” An ensuing cholera epidemic left over 5,000 people dead. “As the focus now moves on to the longer term sustainable development of Haiti, we also need to remember those still in humanitarian need,” the relief chief added, adding that she was concerned about the situation of women exposed to violence and insecurity. Amos met with Haitian President Michel Martelly and held talks with the heads of groups working on the ground. She noted that Martelly has publicly expressed disapproval for forced evictions of people living in camps while waiting to find solution to relocate the homeless.last_img read more