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Strictly Country Magazine copyright A Northwoods Country 420 Day title

   Happy 420 Day!


   What?  What in the world is 420 day, you might ask?  420 Day is the day in which we honor, celebrate, and activate for the plant known as cannabis.

   According to Wikipedia, 420 Day began in 1971 when five high school students in California would meet after school to smoke cannabis.  Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffery Noel, Larry Schwartz, and Mark Gravich, would meet at 4:20 PM to smoke weed.  The group eventually became known as The Waldos, because their normal hang-out spot was located at a wall outside their school.

   It was Steven Hager of the magazine High Times who was responsible for popularizing the story of the Waldos.  It was Dave “Waldo” Reddix, who later became a roadie for the rock band Grateful Dead’s bassist Phil Lesh, who claimed that 4:20 PM was a socially accepted time of the day to consume cannabis.  Later in May 1991, High Times dedicated the date of April 20th to be named the official holiday to celebrate cannabis.

   Since then April 20th has become an international holiday for people to gather to celebrate and consume cannabis.  The date has also become a day filled with protests against and for the liberalization and legalization of cannabis.


So, what’s The Big Deal?


   Cannabis has been around since the beginning of time.  Many cultures call upon the plant for its medicinal properties.  Like many other plants on earth, cannabis can help with chronic pain, arthritis, improves lung capacity, it may help with regulating diabetes, losing weight, fight cancer, treat depression, calms autism, regulates seizures, glaucoma, and more.  The list is endless of what cannabis may help with.

   Perhaps the most known benefit would help soldiers and others who suffer from PTSD symptoms.  Many soldiers who fought in Vietnam dealt with the horrors of the war by smoking cannabis.

   On the flip side, many of the above aliments can also be cured with a simple diet change that omits processed foods, processed meats, all meat, all dairy, and all eggs.  That I have witnessed for myself as I have cured many of my life long ailments by a simple life change to a plant based, unprocessed diet.  (Please review studies conducted by Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Dr. John McDougall, and Dr. T. Colin Campbell.)

   The big deal is that the cannabis plant can help many people with its medicinal properties.  Nonetheless, fear has brought a halt to administering this plant and others as a medicine.




   It was three years after the Vietnam war ended that Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong released their first movie called Up In Smoke.  The stand-up duo began their career in 1971 as pot smoking friends trying to live their lives in hippie and free love era.  The two met in Canada when Cheech moved there to avoid the Vietnam draft.

   Cheech and Chong provided audiences many years of laughter with their films and stand-up comedies.  Nonetheless, they also gave cannabis smokers a bad vibe.

   Like so many good things in life, Christianity moved in to stop the cannabis smoking radicals while stating cannabis would rot the brain and no good can come from consuming the plant in any form.  Christianity in its best form always calls on fear and devil worshiping to stop any progress! 

   I do not see Christianity condemning antidepressants, do you?  The truth is, it is more difficult to wean off of antidepressants than it is cannabis!  Plus, the side effects of antidepressants far exceed those of cannabis!  In fact, the medical professional field does not know the long term side effects of antidepressants.  So, are you willing to take a chance on antidepressants? 

   The truth is, cannabis if used properly can certainly help people.


Herbs? Really?


   As I stated above, cannabis can help with many ailments.  Nonetheless, one must be cautious when using cannabis, CBD oil, and any other cannabis laced product.  Just because you heard or read you may benefit from the plant does not mean you should run out to your local seller to purchase the product.  The problem with our society is that many tend to believe what they read on the internet or hear on the news to be the Gospel truth.  The truth is, like any medication, cannabis can be dangerous if not used properly.  So, what do you do?  Seek a professional herbalist and or doctor is well adverse in the medicinal properties of cannabis.


Cannabis & Music…


   One can easily say that some songs and some performers would be more enjoyable if experienced with a little cannabis! Nonetheless, what would 420 day be without a little music to light the way?

   Many entertainers have dealt with the pressures of the music industry by using some form of cannabis.  Perhaps the most notable of the bunch is Willie Nelson. It was Toby Keith who immortalized Mr. Nelson with his song “Weed With Willie.” 

   In an interview Toby speaks about how the song came about. 

   “I was in Vegas…Charles Barkley is my friend.  I had the night off and I was at my hotel…Charles Barkley said he was having his birthday party at the Rumjungle at midnight, ‘cause everything happens late in Vegas…” shares Toby Keith.  “Willie was playin’ at eight o’clock at the Hacienda…I don’t know if the Hacienda is there any more, but he was at the Hacienda.  At eight o’clock I go over and see Willie.  I get up and do a couple of song with him and he howlers from the stage ‘stay after the show a little bit… I want to talk to you outside.’ So I meet him out at his bus…of course Willie is ah…Everybody knows that Willie is a big weed guy, right? So Willie’s got some real chronic medicinal stuff.” laughs Toby.  “Of course I never smoked much pot in my life, it’s not my high.  I like the whiskey.  So, anyway, we sit down and he rolls one up and it’s just me and him sittin’ there…so when in Rome…you know.  So we burn one and I couldn’t even function.  I mean it was like the most hard core weed I had ever smoked and I only hit it like three or four times.  Unlike Bill Clinton, I did inhale…” laughs Toby.  “I stood up and said it’s time for me to go and he was just looking at me.  I remember my ears were burning, my head was throbbing, I was breathing different, and he was sitting there grinning at me. He knew he got me, right. I said, all right I’ve got to go and he said ‘good timin’.’  So I got off had a car take me to my room.  I missed the whole Charles Barkley and everything.  I went and laid down and went to sleep. It was the first time in my adult life that I had a night off in Vegas…I could’ve went by and seen Charles, had a few drinks, and went and played cards…whatever.  I could have had a great night and I was in bed by 11:30.  Woke up the next morning and I said man, I’m never ever gonna smoke weed with Willie again! And we got to thinking…the guy I wrote with… thought every time we go on his bus we saw people coming off going ‘did you smoke any of that and we go no and they go, man I’ll never smoke weed with Willie again. So we thought it’d be a funny song.  So we wrote a true story…”

   On 420 Day in 2015, just a year prior to his death, Merle Haggard teamed up with Willie Nelson to record “It’s All Going To Pot.” The song, written by Buddy Cannon, Larry Shell, and Jamey Johnson, the song ultimate speaks about how the world is going to heck.  Nonetheless, the song captured the cannabis culture with its pot reference. 

Merle mentions smoking marijuana in his classic song “Okie From Muskogee.”  Where as Willie goes on to make fun of his habit in “Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die.”

   The Bellamy Brothers mention cannabis in their signature song “Old Hippie.”  Even Charlie Daniels mentions pot in his song “Long Haired Country Boy.”
   Toby Keith returns with another smoking song with “Wacky Tobaccy.” 

   Nonetheless, when you break it all down – 420 Day should be a day to honor the plant called cannabis.  Without the medicinal properties, many people would not be able function at a level that you and I do. 

   Have I tried it?  No, I have not.  Nonetheless, I am not going to judge those who do.  I have not walked in the shoes of those who use cannabis nor do I know of how much they benefit from the healing powers of the plant.  The one thing I do know is that it should be legalized.  Many can benefit, especially us tax payers.


Have fun & celebrate 420 Day!


   Many of us have enjoyed the comedic side of cannabis.  Whether it be from songs and jokes made about Willie Nelson to the entertainment provided by Cheech & Chong; one can still find enjoyment in cannabis without consuming it!

© Strictly Country Magazine April 19, 2021.

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Photo submitted Toby Keith with Willie Nelson

Toby Keith with Willie Nelson
Photo used with permission.

Songs About Drugs:

Beautiful Drug – Zac Brown Band

Cheap Thrills – David Allan Coe

Cocaine Blues – Johnny Cash

Drugs or Jesus – Tim McGraw

High Cost of Living – Jamey Johnson

I Can Get Off On You – Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson

I’m Getting’ Stoned – Eric Church

In The Arms of Cocaine – Hank Williams Jr.

It’s All Going To Pot – Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard

Long Haired Country boy – Charlie Daniels

Man In Black – Johnny Cash

Might As Well Get Stoned – Chris Stapleton

My Drug Problem – Bellamy Brothers

Okie From Muskogee – Merle Haggard

Old Hippie – Bellamy Brothers

Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die – Willie Nelson

That’s Why I’m Here – Kenny Chesney

The Junkie’s Prayer – Johnny Cash

The Little Girl – John Michael Montgomery

Wacky Tobaccy – Toby Keith

Weed With Willie – Toby Keith

When Uncle Bill Quits Dope – Johnny Cash

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