Today is 4/20, an epic day in stoner circles. And, it could even become more epic at 4:20 p.m.
For some reason, today is 'Marijuana Appreciation Day' or 'Cannabis Awareness' day, when pot-afficianodos get their ganja on.
There's even an online publication called 420 Magazine, and plenty of online tributes elsewhere.
The origins are indeed hazy as smoke. Various pro-marijuana groups and publications, however, say the likely use of 4/20 to refer to marijuana began, natch, by a group of teens in San Rafael, California in 1971 who called themselves the Waldos and met each day 4:20 p.m. And High Times editor Steven Hager called for 4:20 p.m. to be the socially accepted hour of the day to smoke pot.
The phrase 'four-twenty' spread through the United States, Canada and other countries so much that now, festivals are held. Obviously, stoners find it a bit dicey to announce their celebratory gatherings of weed. But, in Canada, they are bit more relaxed, and supposedly, thousands have gathered in the past in Montreal at the Mont-Royal monument to celebrate 4/20 without large fear of arrest.
Today, however, could be a milestone since it's the first 4/20 when at least half of Americans now favor legalization of cannabis.
A Gallup Poll in October found that a record-high 50 percent of respondents said the use of marijuana should be made legal in America, up from 46 percent in 2010. Forty-six percent said marijuana use should remain illegal.
It was a major turnaround in attitude from when Gallup first asked about the question in 1969. Then, only 12 percent of Americans favored legalization. The numbers began creeping up in the 1990s, possibly with the rise of the push to have marijuana legalized for medical use.
Indeed, Gallup found that an overwhelming majority of Americans — 70 percent — favored making it legal for doctors to prescribe marijuana in order to reduce pain and suffering. But Americans have usually been more likely to favor legalization of marijuana for medical reasons than to favor it its legalization for general use.
Gallup also said liberals are twice as likely as conservatives to favor legalization, and that the younger the respondent, the more likely he or she was to favor legalization.
Locally, the online publication Cannabis Culture, said ganja "get-togethers" today would include many cities in Canada and the United States, including Philadelphia.
"Many well-known tourist traps have been targeted for toking in North America, from Toronto's Yonge and Dundas Square, to Denver's Civic Center Park, to the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, all the way to Vancouver's Art Gallery and many more," the publication said.
And the pro-pot group NORML plans a live podcast at 4 p.m. from San Antonio's 'Fweedom' Fest to celebrate the day.