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Where does 420 come from? Show more Show less
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For stoners worldwide, the 20th of April has long represented a day of celebration. Known commonly as '4:20' participants spend the day smoking cannabis and glorifying the culture that comes with it. But why? Competing theories exist over its origins. So, where does 420 come from?

History Show more Show less

420 has historical origins.
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Adolf Hitler's birthday

420 can attribute its origins to Adolf Hitler's birthday, also 4/20.

Context

The origins of 4/20 as a marijuana holiday have been a mystery for decades. Determining the holiday's origins would end a cultural debate, and untangle the names of those wrongly involved in the origin story of this moniker. This position has been passed on by word-of-mouth, so there is no clear date as to when it began.

The Argument

The idea that Hitler’s birthday (4/20) has a connection to 4/20, the marijuana holiday, is a theory that holds major acceptance among the public. The theory is well-known and credible enough to have been listed in articles by Time and Newsweek Magazines about 4/20. [1] [2] Although not the majority opinion, the idea that Hitler and 4/20 are be connected relies solely on the fact that the two events share a date. There is scant information in the historical narrative about the use of 4/20 as a day to celebrate smoking marijuana and Hitler, but that does not mean it is not true. Because the theories share this date, it is likely that 4/20's significance as the marijuana holiday relates to Hitler's birthday.

Counter arguments

This argument relies on attributing causation to a vicissitude, or event that has occurred by chance. The correlation of the dates of Hitler’s birth and the infamous marijuana holiday are coincidental rather than causative in origin. There is no evidence that 4/20 originated from Hitler’s birthday, meaning that we see no evidence that anyone selected 4/20 as a marijuana holiday because that day is Hitler’s birthday. The two dates merely overlap. [3]

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Hitler's birthday, April 20th, led to 4/20 becoming a marijuana holiday.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Hitler has no connection to marijuana or marijuana smokers.

References

  1. https://time.com/4739364/420-marijuana-history/
  2. https://www.newsweek.com/how-did-420-get-its-name-1498651
  3. https://heavy.com/news/2019/04/4-20-adolf-hitler/
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 23 Jun 2020 at 01:39 UTC

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