What You Should Know About April 20th (4/17/13)
A quick Google search will tell you everything you need to know about the significance of April, 20th (420) to marijuana smokers. In short, three important points for the uninitiated are.
- Every year on 420, marijuana users and marijuana enthusiasts celebrate a sort-of national marijuana holiday. In doing so, people celebrate and may use on this day more than any others.
- In some areas of the country, people gather to use at public spaces like open fields on college campuses and centrally located city parks.
- 420 may send a dangerous message to youth and encourage use and experimentation.
What does prevention science tell us about celebrations like this and their impact on youth?
Youth attitudes toward marijuana are shaped through public perception and community norms. Studies have shown that changing youth attitudes toward use (including commitment to being drug-free) have been shown to decrease marijuana use among youth.
So what should you do?
Take back April, 20th with your own take back 420 campaign and provide youth with alternate messages that will shape healthier attitudes and encourage a healthier community. Youth attitudes are influenced through mass media and events. So why not shape a more positive message and communicate healthier societal norms.
A 420 campaign can serve as an opportunity to bring attention to positive community efforts and provide opportunities for youth to become involved with their community.
What do you need to create your own “Take Back 420 Day?”
Invite youth to the table to create a focused message or series of events that will highlight a positive messages in your community.
Use your event to provide opportunities for youth and other community members to participate in in your event or activity. April 22nd, is national earth day so one possible activity might include planting flowers and other plants around the community.
Contact local media so they will cover your event and spread your message. To raise awareness and change the community message, use local media to get your message out. You can contact your local papers and ask them to cover your story or you can write an op-ed piece to inform others about your efforts and why they’re important.
Use the following links for ideas and examples of things you can do to take back 420 in your community.
- • Douglas County Coalition organizes “take back 420 day”
- • Drug prevention organizations takes back 420
- • North Coastal Prevention Coalitions organizes “420 remix.”
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