Hearne: Wesport Mulling 420 Day Celebration on April 20th

It’s a brave new world in Westport…

As evidenced by the fact that it’s poised to put Kansas City on the map in the weirdest way imaginable; by officially designating April 20th as a holiday. But not just any holiday, mind you.

For the uninitiated, April 20 is Carmen Electra’s birthday (she’ll be 40), the day Oliver Cromwell dissolved the Rump Parliament, when Louis Pasteur completed his first pasteurization test and was opening day in 1912 for Fenway Park.

But forget about all that, that’s hardly what the party hearty types in Westport had in mind when they ran this baby up the flagpole.

Because in street parlance 420 Day is known as the day (and the time 4:20 p.m.) that a group of California teens agreed to meet to smoke pot. From that humble, if vague, 1971 origin the date has evolved into something of a counterculture holiday that people gather on to “celebrate and consume cannabis.”

By the way, according to ProCon.org “medical marijuana” is legal now in 16 states.

One of which is not Missouri.

Which brings us back to Westport’s tentative holiday.

“It’s not official yet because one of the the landlord’s not sure about it,” says Westport businessman Bill Nigro. “And because it does support an illegal activity.”

Then again, “The whole purpose of the event is to bring up the smoking issues Kansas City has,” Nigro says. “Not just with pot but with cigarettes as well. And as different states realize the economic impact (illegal pot) has on their states it becomes an easier decision to medicinalize marijuana.

“It eliminates black markets and helps keep people out of prison and it’s really no different than prohibition was in the 1920s. I think eventually almost every state will legalize it and tax it and it will pay for roads, education and all of the infrastructure needs cities and states have.”

Besides:

“What good is it doing as a black market now?” Nigro asks. “And it’s just like alcohol – not everybody drinks alcohol.”

Studies show that while 67 percent of adults drink alcohol, only 20 percent of white males – the highest category – get drunk at least once a month. Since smoking any amount of pot is akin to getting drunk, it stands to reason that relatively few people would smoke pot were it decriminalized, Nigro says.

So pot jokes aside, 420 Day in Westport well could happen, Nigro says. Here’s why.

“It brings out the realities of what’s going on in our world today. We’ve got so many big issues concerning smoking, whether it’s marijuana or tobacco. You know, one’s completely legal but you can’t smoke it inside. And the other is mostly smoked inside because it’s illegal. But it’s so prevalent now that that’s why all the other states have legalized it – so they can control it.

“And as a bar owner, I would much rather babysit a room full of people high than a room full of people drinking. The people that are high are quiet and peaceful and listening to music and talking quietly. Where the people drinking are loud and obnoxious.”

Stay tuned…

 

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3 Responses to Hearne: Wesport Mulling 420 Day Celebration on April 20th

  1. Smartman says:

    High Noon
    Legalizing pot is a slippery slope. Some grades of medical marijuana are so potent they have the same impact as morphine. Even the lesser grades are far more potent then the weed we grew up on. All highs are not equal and that poses considerable risk to both individuals and society at large. We think we know how drunk is too drunk to drive. How high is too high?

  2. harry hood, milk magnate says:

    LOL, smartman comes in with the “The weed I smoked was TOTALLY different”. Right buddy. BTW, do you think you smoked more weed than today’s youths considering yours was about 10x cheaper?

  3. Kansas D says:

    Facts, please…
    Mr. Smartman, you make many assertions. Can you support them with facts? Here are the ones I’m curious about:

    “Some grades of medical marijuana are so potent they have the same impact as morphine.”

    REALLY? I’ve smoked pot since 1971. I have never found anything that comes close to an opiate. Have also had medical morphine while hospitalized. Your source for this info?

    “Even the lesser grades are far more potent then the weed we grew up on.”

    A sweeping generality that can probably be neither proved or disproved. There has always been bad weed and good weed.

    “All highs are not equal and that poses considerable risk to both individuals and society at large.”

    Really? Can you name the considerable risks that legal marijuana use would present?

    “We think we know how drunk is too drunk to drive. How high is too high?”

    I’ve driven while high since 1974 and haven’t screwed up yet. That determination is for someone else to make once the plant is legalized.

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