Have you ever heard of millions of people looking forward to smoking a bunch of cigarettes and chugging alcohol for several months? Neither did I.
Is this joke familiar to you?
-What time is it?
-It’s almost 4:20…
The joke surrounding 4/20, April 20th, being a stoners holiday has been going around for a while now, or nearly 50 years as it originated in 1971 among several San Francisco high school students.
It may have started as a joke among friends, but today it has a totally different meaning and it is slowly panning out to become an international event celebrated on all sides of the globe (no, I am not a flat-Earther).
In today’s world, 4/20 is a holiday among cannabis lovers and is passionately talked about and planned for, sometimes even months ahead.
It is generally accepted as a day for celebrating cannabis and even people that usually don’t smoke cannabis accompany their friends in celebrating the day.
When organizing such a festivity, planners often throw around terms such as “Weed Olympics”, “Smoke-a-thon” and similar terms to signify the amount of weed which is to be consumed at the event.
These events usually play out the same — you get together with a bunch of friends from high school or college, smoke more weed than most of you do in a years time, and everyone gets higher than interest rates on student loans.
Soon after, a bunch of people just pass out on one of the many couches, sofas, and chairs you’ve got laying around the house.
Simply put, it’s safe fun for adults who like to reminiscence and feel young again without having to do something too wild and spend a lot of money.
For those of you who will say, “Well Alex, you know, usually those types of parties have alcohol and people smoking tobacco as well”, and you’d be right to say so.
Some people attending 4/20 parties also drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes, but that’s not the primary reason for the gathering. 4/20 is primarily a weed holiday.
Tobacco and alcohol are losing social appeal
When was the last time someone invited you to smoke a pack of cigarettes and chug a bottle of liquor all in one night just for the fun of it?
Let me put it this way, how many times have you had the following conversation:
Person 1: Hey wanna get together and smoke 40 cigarettes and drink a bottle of vodka, it will be fun!
Person 2: Yeah I can’t wait!
Never, right? Or maybe once or twice when you just started experimenting with cigarettes and booze.
To go with this, nowadays you also have the youth across Canada and USA turning away from cigarettes in larger numbers than ever before.
OK, now how many times you’ve had this following situation happen to you:
Person 1: Hey are you down to smoke a joint and chill?
Person 2: Yeah. Wanna invite Person 3, 4 and 5?
I really couldn’t say. Hundreds? Thousands probably.
That’s the difference between tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana.
Are the old vices doomed?
The stigma surrounding tobacco has been growing for a while now. Many laws and pieces of legislation have been introduced in order to limit areas where tobacco can be consumed.
Cigarettes have been out of the offices, airplanes, restaurants and cafe’s for a while now, and in some places, it is forbidden even to smoke outside the warmth of your home.
Tobacco and alcohol no longer have a “social effect” they once used to promote so heavily by showing ads of adults drinking and smoking in pubs and bars, having a good time.
Researchers in medical establishments have done their part by pointing towards medical proof that second-hand smoke can harshly affect people in your surrounding, and this only sealed the fate of tobacco.
Alcohol really sealed its own fate simply by its nature — if you have too much of it at once, you may die or end up severely traumatized.
It is also well known that alcohol may cause aggressive behavior, something that cannabis rarely does.
Everything is pointing towards an eminent moment in which tobacco sales and alcohol sales will be overshadowed by cannabis sales in Canada, and that moment is just a few years away.
These vices of the 20th century are quickly being pushed out of the mainstream culture by cannabis, and this has been going on especially rapidly in the last 10 to 15 years ever since the legalization of cannabis started ramping up in Canada and US.
This is also evident in the stock market across the world, as Big Tobacco and major alcohol companies have started buying stakes in cannabis companies such as Canopy Growth.
Don’t get me wrong, the alcohol and tobacco industries are far from a complete disaster. Most likely they will never fail because the nature of their business relies on other peoples addictive behavior.
They will be present in the near future, they will be present in further future, but one thing is for sure — cannabis is slowly but surely pushing alcohol and tobacco out of the spotlight as a less harmful way to have fun.