April 20th, also known as 420 has been a holiday for potheads, for decades, to celebrate their love of marijuana. Marijuana, a once shunned upon drug, started to become normalized (debatably) in 2012 when Colorado and Washington legalized it. Currently, 35 states have followed in their footsteps, and 16 legalized it for recreational use. Surely, more States in the Union will follow suit as the tax revenue from marijuana will create an injection of cash for State and Local municipalities alike.
420 started in the 1970s, by five high school students located in San Rafael, California. 50 years later, Corporate America is starting to embrace it. “Unless the plant goes extinct, marijuana is never going anywhere. It is not even seen as a drug anymore,” says Michael, a grower in Los Angeles, CA.
“…Not seen as a drug anymore…” is debatable, but you can watch television channels, where celebrities are openly smoking the plant, which is what’s driving its popularity and making it more mainstream. The fact that celebrities like Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg (upon many others) back it, is normalizing it. In fact, the NBA and NFL, two major sporting leagues, have ended marijuana testing recently in the past few years.
“It’s a really important point that we were deemed essential,” said Morgan Paxhia, managing partner at California-based Poseidon Asset Management, which invests in cannabis businesses.“In a sea of chaos, this was one of the biggest moments in our industry’s history,” he later added. [quoted by US News].
But not everyone is excited about the exploding popularity of marijuana. Earlier this year, New York State Assemblyman Mike Lawler was quoted: “By legalizing marijuana, we are giving our residents the impression that using drugs is okay – when in fact, it’s not. We shouldn’t be promoting the use of drugs to raise our state revenue, especially without capping potency. Dozens of studies show that legalizing marijuana will lead to significant mental health issues for those who partake frequently. The public safety, public health, and mental health of New Yorkers should be protected, and we should not be ignoring these factors in search of additional state revenue.”
The unofficial 420 holiday is still not represented on Google’s icon/logo of the day. One day it might be, but as of April 20, 2021, it is not. Regardless of anyone’s opinion, marijuana has been publicly recognized for its medical advantages and with the growth of CBD products and legalization, the impact of marijuana is definitely slated to achieve even more exponential growth.