A few things we should all remember this 420

Published Apr 11, 2023 01:00 p.m. ET
Unsplash / Jeff W 

The official day for cannabis lovers is upon us. 420 is approaching and while many plan to celebrate this special occasion with a delicious edible, joint, bowl, dab, or vape it’s essential that we remember all of the historical shifts and milestones it took for us to get to the point we are today. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the most important things every enthusiast should remember this 420.

1. The war on drugs

Most of the fuel for today's stereotypes, misconceptions, and stigma related to cannabis came from the war on drugs which began in the early 70s as the government began to enforce strict laws and penalties. This decision ultimately led to the incarceration of thousands of nonviolent individuals which mainly impacted communities of color. Today, we celebrate the leaps and bounds that have been made to erase the effects of prohibition, but there is still plenty to do before the ripple caused by this travesty will truly be history.

2. Medical marijuana legalization

California was the very first state to legalize cannabis for medical use in 1996 in a historical shift planting the seeds that grew into the flourishing industry we know today. Since then 36 states, the District of Columbia and several countries have legalized medical cannabis, providing access to patients with any number of medical conditions all over the world. This change also helped to pave the way for legal recreational cannabis by destigmatizing the plant.

3. Recreational marijuana legalization

The introduction of legal recreational cannabis is another major milestone that began in Colorado and Washington which were the very first states to pass laws to protect consumers. It all started n 2012, and now 17 states, the District of Columbia, and many countries have legalized its use for recreational purposes.

4. The CBD boom

CBD (cannabidiol) products weren’t always so mainstream, but now we know how effective this non-psychoactive cannabinoid can be in terms of medical benefits and relief from numerous medical conditions. Nowadays, CBD is used to treat everything from anxiety and pain to inflammation, further destigmatizing the plant, and it’s all possible thanks to many years of research and the companies that have formulated and developed cannabis-based products for patients.

5. The introduction of social equity programs

Social equity programs play an integral role in undoing the impact of the war on drugs predominantly on communities of color. They are by design a great way to help those who’ve been most affected by prohibition, offering assistance to many people from minority-owned businesses to individuals who are struggling due to prior cannabis-related convictions. It’s difficult to say when exactly this shift started, but one thing is clear and it’s that these opportunities are assisting those who deserve to have fair and equal access to cannabis.

6. Addressing environmental impact


It’s amazing how so many people are now free from persecution but as the industry flourishes its impact on the environment has also grown. Growing cannabis is no easy feat – it requires a lot of energy and water, and some companies choose to add pesticides and other chemicals to the mix which is bad news for the environment. Luckily, our awareness surrounding this issue has led to a significant shift in how modern cannabis businesses operate, with many adopting more sustainable practices that consumers can really feel good about.

7. The role of women in cannabis

Women have always played an important role in the cannabis industry by advocating for the plant, starting businesses, and of course, consuming products. However, these significant contributions have gone largely unnoticed until recently. Now more women than ever before hold leadership roles in some of the most powerful cannabis companies, and though we still have much work to do before we can say we’ve achieved gender equality in the industry, it’s still important to recognize how far we’ve come in such a short period of time.

8. Cannabis and mental health

Not long ago propaganda had many people believing that cannabis was a likely contributor to the majority of mental health conditions, but now millions of people use it to get relief from things like anxiety, PTSD, and depression. More research is needed. Still, this 420 it’s essential that we celebrate the people whose lives have gotten better only because they have access to safe and effective cannabis products.

9. Cannabis and creativity

For years creative souls have generously credited cannabis for acting as a beacon and inspiration for their work. This plant can help to enhance creativity, open the mind to new perspectives and ideas, and lifts the mood, pulling many out of depressive episodes that may have otherwise been in the way. So this year, as you celebrate 420 don’t forget about the important role cannabis has played in much of our modern art and culture.

10. The future of cannabis

As legalization spreads and acceptance of cannabis becomes the norm the industry will grow, so the future is still quite bright despite many setbacks and barriers faced by cannabis companies today. With new products being added all the time, unique cultivation methods, and innovative technologies that are continuously being developed, consumers these days have the luxury of watching the evolving industry change into something consumers could once only dream of.

When we celebrate 420 this year there’s plenty for us to be reflecting on. It’s important for all of us to remember the journey as we push forward into a new age of cannabis consumption.

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