How to pretend to understand 4/20

It’s that time of the year again, where everyone pretends they like weed. April 20. Though the exact origin story of this day can be found by digging through Google, it is not Bob Marley’s birthday nor is it the police radio code for smoking weed. It started at a California high school in the ‘70s, just like a lot of cool, elusive habits and now it’s a nationwide excuse to get high.

It’s beautiful, in a way. Everyone coming together to act like they have a shared knowledge over something that in reality only a few of them do — kind of like finals. My freshman year this “holiday” fell on Easter so there were a bunch of stoned kids in their Sunday best. It also meant that there were no restaurants open to get munchies.

This year, it falls on a Thursday which means it is — and I’m sure you all knew this and were bursting with anticipation — the day my column comes out. I would not be fulfilling my duty as a humor columnist if I didn’t tell you, my readers, how to pretend to understand 4/20. I’ll be honest, no one who really understands it is reading my column anyway. They have other things to do. They probably only rip off pieces of The Daily Orange to use as filters for their joints.

Did I successfully convince you I know what I’m talking about by blatantly dropping a couple weed terms in and weirdly toeing the line of almost shaming smokers? Excellent.

Here’s how you can pretend to understand 4/20, too:

1. Look up a weed dictionary online. There are too many terms for me to say here, in an independent student newspaper, but you have to research a topic before you take a test on it.
2. Text that kid from freshmen year who would always make your floor smell like smoke and that you haven’t heard from since. Ask him how he’s doing. Befriend him. Try to buy weed from him if you want but also just respect him as a person and treat him like more than your bud at the moment.
3. Go to a smoking thing. If it was alcohol related, it would definitely be called a party but in this context I don’t know. Is it even a party if there isn’t alcohol? Is it clear I’m a 21-year-old with minimal life experience? Hang out with people. Network. Smoke if you want to, don’t smoke if you don’t want to. If you feel peer pressured and you don’t like that, leave.
4. Wear sunglasses. No one will be able to tell if you are high or not, but also I guarantee a lot of people will be wearing sunglasses so no one can tell if they are either.

Whether you smoke all the time or never, or any sort of smoky area in between, do whatever you want to do. Just enjoy your Thursday since there is only one more Thursday where we have classes after this anyway. Follow your arrow wherever it joints — I mean, points.

Patty Terhune is a senior policy studies and television, radio and film dual major. If she wasn’t unemployed before, she is definitely unemployed after writing a column on 4/20. Follow her on Twitter @pattyterhune or email her at


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