What Does April 20th Mean To You?

When I was in grade school, junior high and high school, April 20th was my best friend's birthday.

Ten years ago, April 20th became the anniversary of a horrible tragedy we now refer to as Columbine.

But I found out today that April 20th is also "National Pot Smoking Day".

According to an article on "The Huffington Post",

It's a day where people across the world celebrate in the conspicuous consumption of the magical herb, marijuana. It's an unofficial counterculture holiday that is based on the simple concept of smoking some cannabis and being happy.

Funny, but I am a pretty happy person, and I have never needed the aid of cannabis to help me get this way.

When I found out what day this is to some people, it got me thinking about my few encounters with marijuana. No, I don't have a past of inhaling, but I have had a few times when pot was definitely in the vicinity.

I probably smelled the aroma of pot the most while in junior high. My locker partner in 8th grade would come back from lunch reeking of the smell of marijuana. This was before the days of closed campuses, and she would be in a car with high school kids who were smoking pot at lunchtime. So I always got to smell it after lunch.

My freshmen year, I remember being in a car with some girls who were taking me home after a meeting, and they were chewing on marijuana seeds. I didn't want anything to do with this, so I had them take me home.

As I moved on into high school, I remember going to my boyfriend's relative's house, and observed a very sorry sight. Most of the people in the room were just out of high school, had babies, and were sitting around, babies in their arms, and passing a joint around the circle. Twenty years later, I see the result of the choices these parents have made, which unfortunately includes further drug use beyond pot, which really devastated not only their own lives, but their children's lives as well.

The closest thing I ever got to having a "buzz" was at a concert at the old Spokane Coliseum. I think I was a junior in high school, and went to see the band "The Cars" in concert, and a joint was being passed back and forth down the seats. You couldn't help but feel some effects from the smoke.

I don't think I ever saw any pot in college. Yes, I know some of my friends were smoking it, but never around me, and I was never in a place where it was being smoked.

As I got older, I would occasionally smell it, but rarely. Once in a while I'll walk by a student who has that peculiar, sweet smelling aroma about them that reminds me of 8th grade.

When PKR started working for Meridian Academy, the alternative school in Meridian, he started learning much more about the drug culture. He quickly learned why students had the numbers 4:20 written all over their notebooks. Not only is 4:20 the date, it is also the official pot smoking time. Who knew these things even existed? The drug culture wasn't part of our culture, so we learned plenty from PKR's students.

I was recently in a conversations with some friends, some who believe our economy would turn around if marijuana was legalized, and we could tax the sale of it. They believe this would especially turn California's economy right around!!

Well, I'm not ready to legalize marijuana. Probably this is based on my observation of the effects on students I see who start smoking pot. In my observations, I have never seen a student who started smoking pot become highly motivated, get better grades, and do better in school.

Instead, it is the opposite. Once you see a student has started smoking pot, usually their grades fail, they become less ambitious, and they start failing school.

But, this isn't a debate on the pros and cons of marijuana. Just some observations through my lifetime. I really don't have the desire to try pot.

I'm perfectly happy as I am.


Dawn said...

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Sad for a far different reason, but something I think is much more worthy of observance. (I can TOTALLY relate to your story. It put me right back in high school and some of the smells of study hall right after lunch!)

Carol Woolum Roberts said...

Yes, Holocaust Remembrance Day is a much more worthy observance. I totally agree!!

Jeanie said...

Loved your post.

Just noticed the ad for auditions for the Melodrama Theater. My Red Hat group makes a point of going every August. We car pool up and about 14 of us show up. We LOVE it!!!!

Carol Woolum Roberts said...

Oh, I'm so glad you enjoy it. My husband and I are directing both shows this summer. He is actually writing the August show and directing it, and I will direct the musical review. We love being a part of the theater. It is lots of fun!!!