Drug Rehabilitation: 4/20/2008

Four twenty. April 20th. Never did I realize that I would be celebrating my sobriety annually on this day instead of lighting a joint, smoking a bowl and sharing a 40. The truth is, I have spent a lot more April 20ths drunk and/or high than sober.  Hopefully one day, with enough time passed, I will be able to truthfully state the opposite of that, having spent more years on this pseudo-holiday/anniversary being sober.

You\'d think, as a recovering addict, this day would be difficult for me.  However, the last time an April 20th was difficult was back in 2008 when my drug rehabilitation began.  That was the best thing that ever happened to me and being able to celebrate this day, remember all the events and the order in which they occurred, is the greatest gift I have ever been given.

I don\'t know how this underground yet mainstream and worldwide holiday originated, but I have heard a lot of stories about it.  It seems to depend who you ask or where you look.  Naturally, those who still abuse certain substances want to claim reasons for why people worldwide meet at 4:20pm to smoke some.  Some people have told me that 420 is the number active chemicals in marijuana.  Some claim that it stems from the teatime in Holland.  Come to think of it, I can\'t even remember the first time I heard the term, but there was something so contextual and innate about it, I instantly knew what it meant.  Or maybe that is just my inner addict talking.  The origin of 4/20 that I have heard most commonly though, is that a few friends of the Grateful Dead coined the term, and when the Dead toured the globe in the 70s and 80s, playing hundreds of shows each year, they made the term popular in their lifestyle and lyrics.  The first printed record of it seems to be the May 1991 issue of High Times, a magazine devoted to the Marijuana smoking culture.

The history of this “holiday” doesn\'t matter to me anymore.  The only history worth noting right now is how 3 years ago this day is the day I began my drug rehabilitation program. 

Marvin W.