What is 4/20? Americans equally confused by marijuana laws and pot-smoking slang

NEW YORK — How confusing is marijuana legislation in the United States? Enough that one in 10 Americans in a new survey have no idea if it’s legal where they live.

In a recent OnePoll survey of 1,000 respondents, 11 percent admit to not knowing if their home state allows for the legal possession of marijuana and other THC products. Roughly 54 percent claim to live somewhere marijuana is legal, including the 13 percent who say it’s only “partially” legal in their area.

While 39 states permit medicinal marijuana use among their citizens, only 19 also approve of recreational use — including Colorado, which first legalized the substance in 2012. Although a national legalization bill passed in the House of Representatives in April 2022, the Senate has yet to review the legislation, with no plans to do so in the immediate future.

Meanwhile, 67 percent agree that the United States should legalize marijuana on a federal level.

An identical percentage of respondents (67%) also expressed familiarity with April 20, otherwise known as “4/20” — an unofficial “holiday for stoners” that’s also treated as a day of action among decriminalization activists.

Not everyone is familiar with ‘4/20’

“This means 4 over 20 or 4 divided by 20,” one respondent tells researchers.

“I haven’t got a fifth of an idea,” another person admits.

Others have heard of the date’s connection to cannabis, but not its counterculture origins as a ritual among a group of Californians in the ‘70s, who reportedly smoked every day at 4:20 p.m.

“It has something to do with weed,” one confused respondent explains, “and now it’s become legal, I think they want it to be a holiday. I think that’s it. Not 100 percent sure.”

While marijuana typically factors into stereotypical celebrations of Weed Day, ​​popular non-smoking activities can include indulging in snacks, TV or movie marathons, and even some well-deserved couch potato time.

When asked what they’d hypothetically choose to watch at just such an event, one in four respondents (27%) picked “something comforting and easy to follow” like the “Great British Baking Show.”

A quarter (26%) would prefer something “funny and nonsensical” like “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” or “Anchorman.”

Only one in six (16%) prefer to stay on theme with stoner comedies, such as “Pineapple Express.”

Only one in nine (11%) want their minds blown by something like “The Matrix” or “Planet Earth.”

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