Yesterday was April twentieth.
That’s big news for some, and a passing joke for others. It meant deals! It meant celebration! And for me it mostly meant finals. 420, and weed in general, is a great example of a subject that inspires pictographs. Paraphernalia, coded phrases, and subtle smiles follow this habit all over our country.
Now I didn’t celebrate, personally. I’ve never been taken by the desire to pursue recreational drugs. I barely drink. But I absolutely love the passion and creativity that comes out of the ongoing debate on legalization and general use. If it were up to me, it’d be legal. Not because it’d give me a reason to partake, but because alcohol being legal is significantly worse for people, and the ban on weed mostly just enlarges the gap between the privileged and underprivileged.
Most people first encounter pot in school. Specifically, high school. By the time kids are eighteen, more than a third have tried pot, and ten percent are frequent users. They roll out of English, and roll up a blunt. And the real issue here is that punitive action is separated by color. Black and white people use at roughly the same rate, but between 2001 and 2010, blacks had nearly four times the arrest rate for possession.
And when you incorporate school discipline into the equation, I’m left wondering how much marijuana is used in the continuation of the school to prison pipeline? Kids are more likely to use again when suspended from school for using to begin with.