A strong marijuana plant flourishing indoors. Photo by Nick Kemper.

A joint opinion: spark it up!

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Humboldt County’s reputation around the United States reeks of marijuana.

As part of the Emerald Triangle, along with the counties Mendocino and Trinity, Humboldt makes most of its green from the seasonal crop.

Rumor has it that the celebration of April 20 started in Marin County, California, not too far from Humboldt with a group of San Rafael High School students who called themselves The Waldos. These pothead pioneers gathered on campus after school at 4:20 p.m. to spark up and look for a rumored, abandoned pot farm.

One of the original Waldos said that the term originally meant “Do you have some?” or “Do I look stoned?”

Eventually, the psychedelic rock band Grateful Dead picked up on the term when they moved blocks away from San Rafael High School and frequently smoked with one of the Waldos’ older brothers.

Years later, April 20 is a nationwide holiday when stoners smoke copious amounts of weed and spend the day trying not to miss 4:20 p.m.

Celebrating April 20 in Humboldt County is almost as pointless as the British declaring a national day for beer (which they have, mind you). But the beginning of 2018 marked a monumental time in California history.

Marijuana advocates have been fighting for legalization of cannabis since the 1960s.

Finally, on Jan. 1, California Proposition 64 became effective, allowing legal recreational use and taxation of marijuana statewide. Nearly 60 years later, the seed is cultivated into reality.

Since then, there has been little qualitative information about the impact on Humboldt economy, but tourism and sales tax revenues are likely to increase.

Now more than ever, April 20 is a holiday to celebrate the progress California has made in decriminalizing the medicinal plant and allowing anyone to enjoy its benefits. For the first time, anyone above the age of 21 can safely spark up a legal, recreational blunt in the comfort of their home.

If you are partaking in 4/20 this year, please remember that any dank celebration should be in moderation. Spark responsibly.

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