Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The Story behind 4:20 - and Canada's best political potheads
EDMONTON – From Parliament Hill to Edmonton’s Dome to the Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada was up in smoke today in each respective time zone.
Reports from Ottawa, Edmonton, and Vancouver cite a police presence, but, as in past years, almost no arrests have been made as of 7 pm MST – although in Toronto, apparently the overflow was so astonishingly large that streets actually had to be closed.
But why 4:20? What does it mean? And what would possess a bunch of lazy, Zeppelin-loving, petiole-smelling, free-loving, dreaded-dope-addled-drop-outs to actually remember what day it is once a year – every year?
From the guy who can’t spell ‘theory’ on Urban Dictionary, here’s the scoop... er... Bud:
:: San Rafael theroy (sic)::
In the early 1970's, a group of teenagers who attended San Rafael High School in San Rafael, California used to get high every day at 4:20 in the afternoon under the Louis Pasteur statue.
:: Bob Dylan theroy (sic)::
In Bob Dylan's song, 'Rainy Day Women #12 & 35,' the lyrics contain 'everybody must get stoned.' 420 comes from the title, as 12 x 35 = 420.
:: Highway 420 ::
In Ontario, Canada in the 60's, marijuana grew freely on one of the Highways. This highway was later renamed in 1972 as Highway 420.
:: The Date 4/20 ::
April 20th is coincidentally (or not...) the birthday of Adolf Hitler who was born on April 20, 1889. It is also interesting to note that the Columbine High School shootings also occured (sic) on this date in 1999.
Well WTF… nobody seems to know, or care, presumably. So how ‘bout we run down the list of the most notorious Canada political prohibited substance scandals, shall we? It seems timely, at any rate, if you’re smoking what we’re rolling!
Top Seven Canadian Political Prohibited Substance Scandals
7. Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien - Claims to have never smoked a joint, but muses openly to a newspaper about lighting up upon its’ decriminalization by his Government. "Perhaps I will try it when it will no longer be criminal," he said. "I will have my money for my fine and a joint in the other hand."
6. NDP Leader Jack Layton – The full quote from Pot-TV follows, but it’s also worth noting that the infamous Rahim Jaffer ad from the 2008 federal election campaign that saw Linda Duncan elected in Edmonton Strathcona focused on Layton’s assertion that marijuana was “a wonderful substance.”
Nobody (even on Parliament Hill) doubts that Mr. Layton, a one-time contemporary of Timothy Leary, has more than likely toked a reefer or two in his day.
"Folks, you're watching POT-TV, I'm Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, and I'd like to invite you to support our party, which is in favor of modernizing our marijuana laws, creating a legal environment in which people can enjoy their marijuana, in the peace and quiet of their own home, or in a cafe, without having to worry about being criminalized."
5. Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe – You gotta hand it to Duceppe, he’s got style. The quote (though we’re not entirely certain of its’ credibility):
"Like everyone else from my generation I'd be lying if I said I hadn't done it," Duceppe said in Quebec City. "Yes, yes, I inhaled.”
Duceppe was also a Maoist in University, leaving many astute political observers convinced that ol’ Gilles is very likely the coolest party leader to party on with.
4. NDP Candidate Dana Larsen – One of the wackiest of the wacky in the NDP goes up in smoke when a YouTube video surfaces of the nutter stuffing a few dozen joints in his mouth… and driving while peaking on acid and the near-poisonous DMT.
Larsen was then defended by the ‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery, who said in a newspaper column that: “Dana Larsen actually had a good reason for doing it, he was filming it to have the experience documented for all future researchers.”
Then of course, the heavy-handed antics of federal party bureaucrats gave the founder of eNDProhibition even MORE free ink by banning him from the party’s convention in Halifax. Nice work gang. Nice.
3. ‘Reformed’ Saskatchewan Party MLA Serge LeClerc – Saskatoon Northwest MLA LeClerc makes big political bank from speaking about his past life as a violent gang leader, drug dealer and drug addict who turned his life around after finding Jesus – and the conservative movement.
However, a brown paper envelope with audio tape and Internet chat files turned up at CBC HQ in Saskatchewan last week along with allegations that LeClerc was the voice on tape saying: "I had one guy come over with a little coke a few weeks ago and had great sex. He was one of the ones I weeded out, not because of the coke, just because of compatibility."
While LeClerc maintains his innocence, he has since “removed himself” from the Saskatchewan Party caucus.
One wonders if the reaction would have been different if the substance was marijuana. Saskatchewan Party leader Brad Wall has been quite candid about his marijuana use – at least to everyone but his mother.
2. Margaret Trudeau – Okay… she wasn’t an elected official. But what right-thinking Canadian wasn’t scandalized by the wild stories and titillating photos emanating from Maggie’s jaunts to the world-infamous Studio 54?
Answer: Everybody else, who either wanted to BE Maggie Trudeau, or BE WITH Maggie Trudeau.
The former ‘first-lady’ may have cleaned up her act now, but it seems nothing was too much for the former beau of Pierre Trudeau… who managed to catch the 50 year-old’s attention at the tender age of 22.
Nothing was untouchable it seemed for the better half of this dynamite couple. Peyote, marijuana, hashish, and (one would think at Studio 54 at least) cocaine were all fair game.
Scandalous? Yes. But extremely exciting for 1960s/1970s Canada.
1. Rahim Jaffer & Helena Geurgis – Their Gaffer Affair story isn’t worth repeating. But come on, they must’ve smoked dope. That is the gateway drug, after all… right?
Some other politicians on pot use, just for fun.