At 4:20 p.m. this afternoon, hundreds of thousands–if not millions–of people will gather in large spaces such as Golden Gate Park in San Francisco or sit inside the privacy of their own homes and light up to celebrate marijuana. The time “4:20″ has long been associated with cannabis subculture, when a group of teenagers living San Rafael, California, in 1971 used to gather at 4:20 p.m. to smoke pot after school.
Along with the time, the date April 20 (or 4/20) is now commonly observed by marijuana smokers, who come often together in large groups to consume cannabis and in some cases advocate for its legalization in public places throughout the United States and around the world.
This year’s 4/20 celebration will be particularly meaningful in Colorado and Washington, two states that legalized the retal sale of marijuana in the 2012 election. In the following video from the Commonwealth Club, author Rick Steves thinks liberal laws on marijuana use advocate a positive tolerance toward alternative lifestyles.