It’s 4/20 Day! Stop whatever you’re doing on April 20th, at 4:20pm, and light up a joint just to mellow out, show the world that reefer smokers are way nicer people than drunks, and really, really piss off Republicans and other incurable tightasses. While you’re waiting for the mellow to set in, here’s a brief history of weed, from those tuned-in stoners in early China to the present day – that’s 4/20 Day 2012, baby!
10,000 B.C.: (Before Cannabis, not British Columbia!) The Chinese are, thus far, the most likely first humans to discover and use weed. They brew it into a tea and call it ‘green’. China doesn’t invade anyone for 800 years.
1300 B.C.: India invents the pot brownie. Indians believe weed encourages sleep, lowers fevers, cures dysentery and improves the mind and judgement. It also makes them very horny. Pretty soon there’s more than a billion Indians. They’re so mellow and laid (back) they barely notice when the Mughals invade in 1526 A.D., but boy oh boy do they have some really mind-blowing art and statuary to show them…
4th CENTURY B.C.: Alexander the Great smokes a pipe full of weed and puts off conquering Asia Minor for at least three weeks while he contemplates the intricacies of his favorite concubine’s testicles.
610 A.D.: Islam is invented. The Prophet Mohammed decrees that alcohol is prohibited, but weed is not. Hashish becomes popular in the Middle East, which remains to this day the only place on the planet where smoking weed fails to mellow you out.
1787: America’s Constitutional Convention, held in Philadelphia and attended by 55 delegates and 189 hookers, wraps up in September when the delegate from Virginia passes around some weed he brought back from his recent trip to Jamaica. That day they write out the plan for something they call the electoral college. The next morning, after sleeping it off, no one can figure out how the hell it works. Or what they’re all doing in the belfry of the Old North Tower. Or why they’re naked. Or why Steve is grinning like George III on Tax Day.
1966: Marijuana is popularized by drop-out long-haired bell-bottomed Communist hippie weirdoes who never shut up about Ginsberg and Camus and Che and who listen obsessively to a terrible racket they call ‘psychedelic music’ and which their parents call ‘sound of cats being tortured .’ The new ‘reefer madness’ works to many new rock stars’ advantage as, for example, no one notices that Jim Morrison writes lyrics like a mentally-challenged banana slug and that Canned Heat guy can’t sing for shit. In 1967, Timothy Leary urges people to turn on, tune in, drop out. Everyone’s far too stoned to realize Leary is 47 years old and waaaaay past thirty, which means they shouldn’t trust a damn thing he says.
1996: Famed astrophysicist Carl Sagan dies, and it comes out shortly thereafter that he liked to smoke weed while taking a shower with his wife. This comes as a giant embarrassment to marijuana critics who contend that weed wrecks your brain and turns you into a total underachieving slacker loser. “Toldja,” says Harrison Ford, eyes half-mast.
2001: Canada becomes the first country in the history of the world to legalize weed for medical use. Conservatives complain that those damn godless socialist lefties will legalize anything. What’s next, gay marriage?
2002: The Canadian Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs issues a report saying, in essence, marijuana should be regulated like tobacco because it’s less harmful than alcohol, which comes as no surprise to anyone who’s ever been to a Jimmy Buffett concert. Canadian conservatives, like, completely freak out totally all over the place prompting the Committee to issue a second report saying, in essence, chill, dudes.
2010: California Proposition 19, also called the Regulate, Control, & Tax Cannabis Act, becomes a statewide ballot initiative. It would allow certain types of non-medical marijuana use although still prohibit the sale of it. Supporters argue it would help reduce the budget shortfall as well as force vicious Colombian drug cartel overlords to start shopping at Dollarama. It’s defeated by a powerful group of Republicans who object to the fact that the new law doesn’t negatively impact the poor, illegal Mexicans, old people, baby bunnies, and children dying of leukemia.