Today is 420; perhaps one of the most celebrated, non-federal holidays.

It has long been a day celebrated by stoners around the country. The origins of 420 are cloudy (pun intended), but one origin story can be found on HuffPost. It’s supposedly originated in San Rafael, California. 420 was just a code word amongst friends to refer to getting high, or to ask if the other was stoned. Contrary to popular belief, spoiler alert, it had nothing to do with the police code for, “smoke-out in progress.”

Regardless of where or how 420 originated, it’s often associated with the lazy stoner culture. The whole purpose of the day is to celebrate marijuana, and getting high!

Why NOT Celebrate 420?

I question whether or not the individuals working in the cannabis space should continue promoting this holiday, simply because of the strong negative stigma that comes along with it.

Perhaps 420 should still be celebrated, but with emphasis on the medicinal values of cannabis, versus the intoxicating effects. Maybe we start promoting the day as, “420 Medical,” and share cannabis success stories in lieu of,  “smoking out.”

One thought I recently heard was; we need to stop pushing the hash tag “#EndTheStigma.” I had to think about this a bit, but my take away was this; by saying “end the stigma,” we are admitting there is something inherently or morally wrong with cannabis. Think about that for a minute!

Today, thousands of people will gather in public places for the sole purposes of getting high. Some of those individuals might be using cannabis for medicinal reasons, others are merely recreational users. I would venture to say neither is necessarily morally wrong.

The past few years, cannabis has been making huge strides. I know many devoted Evangelical Christians that are using cannabis as medicine. Just two years ago that would have been unheard of.

CBD has certainly helped bring the medicinal values of cannabis to light. Just the other day I heard a friend who had an aging parent struggling with dementia say they were willing to give cannabis a try, as medicine, but lamented that they lived in Texas where it was illegal.

So, today I encourage you to celebrate 420 for the healthy benefits cannabis can bring to our society, versus the perceived negative effects.

If you are part of the cannabis industry, please stop portraying cannabis for its “psychedelic” properties. It’s misleading, inaccurate, and doesn’t do any justice towards legalization of cannabis.

420 SHOULD be celebrated by all, but for the right reasons. Cannabis is medicine and can help so many people.