The term "420" is as synonymous with cannabis culture as the plant itself. While its origin is as hazy as the back of a 60s VW bus, by most accounts the term dates back to 1971 in San Rafael, California – when 420 was coined by a group of high school students who regularly met by a wall (or an on-campus statue of Louis Pasteur) at that time to enjoy their afternoon "escape."
420 later caught on with the Grateful Dead (also from San Rafael) and their legions of Deadheads, solidifying itself as a mainstay in pop-culture vernacular through countless film and TV references (from Fast Times at Ridgemont High to Family Guy). Over the years, legalization advocacy heightened the importance of the term, and created a rallying cry on the 420 date, with "smoke-ins" and peaceful protests held around the world.
With 420 upon us, popular opinion has never been more in favour of legalization – a major social shift is underway and the end of prohibition is in sight in many jurisdictions across North America. We've come a long way, baby. But how has cannabis culture kept pace, and how is it perceived by the general population?
At Civilized, we're about moving beyond stereotypes and providing a voice to millions of motivated, productive adults who choose to enjoy cannabis recreationally. And we wanted to mark our first 420 in the same thoughtful way – acknowledging the roots of the culture while looking ahead at where it's going.
To dig a bit deeper on attitudes and perceptions of North America's fastest growing industry, we commissioned a poll of more than 1,000 people across the U.S. The Civilized Cannabis Culture Poll results will cover a range of topics, from attitudes on legalization, consumption behaviours and the affect of cannabis usage on dating, driving, politics and more.
Check out this space today, and in the days to come for interesting and surprising results. Let us know what you think about current day cannabis culture and what future 420s will bring.
Derek Riedle is Founder and Publisher of Civilized.