Happy 4/20, dear readers. Today we offer to you our round-up of journalism+pot fun facts because yes, they have a complicated history.
Hemp used to be everywhere. The first Bibles, maps, charts, and drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were made from hemp. (via)
In 1938, Mechanical Engineering Magazine published an article stating that hemp was the most profitable and desirable crop in the US and the world. (via)
A Conspiracy Theory: The Hearst Company used to supply most paper products and could stand to lose a lot of money because of hemp. Consequently, financial tycoons held secret meetings conspiring to get rid of hemp. In a media blitz of yellow journalism, Hearst’s newspapers ran stories on the horrors of marijuana. (via)
The term 4/20 was coined by a group of five San Rafael High School students known as the Waldos (because they used to hang out by a wall outside school and smoke pot at 4:20). (via)
A journalist spread the story about the Waldos. Steven Bloom, then a reporter for High Times magazine (now publisher of CelebStoner.com), wrote the story pictured above. (via)
High Times then took the term global:
"I started incorporating it into everything we were doing," High Times editor Steve Hager told the Huffington Post. "I started doing all these big events - the World Hemp Expo Extravaganza and the Cannabis Cup - and we built everything around 420. The publicity that High Times gave it is what made it an international thing. Until then, it was relatively confined to the Grateful Dead subculture. But we blew it out into an international phenomenon."