April 20 a "Marijuana Holiday" for Many Teens

April 20 a "Marijuana Holiday" for Many Teens

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Tonya Papanikolas ReportingThe calendar says it's April 20th. Digitally today is 4-20-06. Now, 4-20 might not mean much, to most of us, but it has great importance for some young people in Utah and across the nation.

Student: "Today is pretty much every teenager's holiday. It's 4/20. It's National Weed Day, pretty much."

Though many parents may not know it, 4/20 is quickly becoming a code for anything about marijuana. And when the calendar reads 4/20, some Utah high schoolers take the day off just to smoke the drug.

April 20 a "Marijuana Holiday" for Many Teens

We were surprised at what we found, and it's likely a lot of parents will be, too. The kids weren't afraid to tell us, those who observe 4/20 are smoking a lot of marijuana.

"I haven't been to school all day today 'cause it's a holiday."

Tim: "It's just pretty much a day to sit back and relax, and it's not like we're out causing trouble. I mean, when you smoke weed, you get just chill and you just want to sit down; you don't want to move at all."

According to the Internet, 4:20 was the time of day kids were meeting years ago in California to get high, and when they started using the number as a code, it caught on.

Reporter: "So what does 420 mean exactly?"

Student: "Smoke weed. You smoke it at 4:20 in the morning and at 4:20 at night."

While the time still holds significance for some, on April 20th it doesn't matter what time of day it is.

"You buy it, you share it with everybody. It's like Christmas."

One teen, knowing our cameras were rolling, even sat down to show us. School district police said they were somewhat surprised by the behavior, but they emphasized, teens who want to smoke will go where they want to do it.

"They know it's all over the place. They can't really stop it."

It's not just one school or one area of the valley where kids are smoking pot to signify 420. We visited schools on both the east and west sides, and students in both areas told us they knew of specific places where kids were going today to smoke pot.

As some students were getting ready for big parties tonight, the teens told us there's nothing wrong with celebrating 420.

"We just chill and kick back, so it can't be dangerous, really."

Before we talked to these teens, we called Salt Lake City police, the Salt Lake County Sheriff's office and school district police to ask them about 420. All of those departments said they'd never heard of the term or its significance and would not be doing anything special for enforcement today.

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