By Erica Dunigan
Staff reporter

When we think of celebrations in the month of April we tend to think of Good Friday, Easter and the day of pranks. April is also the month of Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, but in some states if the weather is nice there may be a different type of celebration.

When the calendar reaches April 20, some people gather to celebrate what is called 4/20, which has evolved into a counterculture holiday of celebrating and consuming marijuana, or cannabis.
The history behind the term 4/20 started back in 1971, with a group of high school students from San Rafael, Cali. The group of students called themselves the Waldos. Each day they met at 4:20 p.m. at the Louis Pasteur statue, located on the grounds of their high school.

The event has grown since the legalization of medical marijuana. The police and campus security have tried numerous ways to stop the event, especially at Colorado University. One of the ways they have tried to lower the number of people attending 4/20 has been by emphasizing the possession citations.

Today, many marijuana users throughout the country, mainly California and Colorado, gather to celebrate the use of marijuana, while promoting the legalization. According to, 15 states have legalized medical marijuana, including D.C.

Even though many states are starting to legalize medical marijuana, for a person caught selling, transporting, or distributing marijuana, it is a class two public offense. This results in a $100 fine, according to California marijuana laws.

This year the medical cannabis industry will be hosting a new event that will combine with Earth Day. The event will be called Deep Green Festival. According to, the event will involve the celebration of marijuana, but it will be held on April 23, instead of the 20.

Many people are pushing for the legalization of marijuana, but will it truly decriminalize the possession and use of the substance?

Many of us view marijuana as nothing more than weed, or simply something that a person can get high off of.

Scientist have found many medical benefits to using marijuana for managing pain that is felt by trauma and cancer patients, and also patients who may experience nerve damage. Beyond managing pain, it can be used for many other medical reasons.

The research that is being done has brought forth good reasons why it should be legalized.

With 4/20 being celebrated, industries and organizations push for the legalization of medical marijuana, which has become one of the biggest topics of debate. As time passes scientists and researchers are finding more advantages for the use of medical marijuana.

Still the question remains. With more advantages being found and with the subject being pushed will more states pass the law?

Even with this question lingering, it will not stop students and others from participating in 4/20.
Erica Dunigan is a junior majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail her at