What does '420' mean?
420 is a significant day in cannabis culture. On the 20th of April every year, cannabis consumers across the world come together in celebration of the plant and its properties. In honour of cannabis, various celebrations including picnics, peaceful protests and rallies are organised by cannabis consumers and enthusiasts. The day is a big celebration, marked by the consumption of cannabis in large groups of people often with side attractions such as food, drink and entertainment.
420 is a chance for the cannabis community to have a public presence, to protest and to celebrate.
420 and Cannabis Culture in Auckland
Auckland boasts a rich history of cannabis culture. It is home to the infamous Daktory, New Zealand’s first cannabis social club. Another very vocal organisation on cannabis culture, and especially involved in legalisation and 420 related celebrations, is the National Organisation for the Reform of Cannabis Laws (NORML), New Zealand.
Founded in 1979 and incorporated in 1980, NORML’s primary objective is to influence public opinion with the aim of legalising the responsible use of marijuana amongst adults. The group offers education on the benefits and effects of medical and recreational cannabis use, and promotes cannabis culture. Besides knowledge and facts, the group offers research-based articles on human rights and laws holding back the legalisation of cannabis.
The NORML hosts a more political version of 420, known as J-Day. Celebrated annually, the primary objective of J-Day is to protest against prohibition and celebrate Kiwi cannabis culture. The 28th annual J-Day was held on the 1st of May 2019.
A pro-cannabis protest held by the NORML in Auckland, New Zealand. src
However, not everyone can get to events. Cannabis enthusiasts looking to expand their knowledge base on cannabis culture without a physical community can do so through online forums. The internet in an invaluable asset for people looking for information to help them form opinions. Individuals are free to go through stories and articles which interest them, while formulating an opinion on cannabis culture, prohibition and legalisation as a whole.
The safest ways to consume cannabis in Auckland
There are four main ways to consume cannabis. They are:
Of these methods mentioned, the safest methods are oral and sublingual consumption.
Although inhalation (most often through smoking and vaping) is the most popular method of cannabis consumption, it is actually the unhealthiest. Recent studies have indicated that smoking marijuana is almost as unhealthy as smoking cigarettes due to the amount of toxins released during combustion.
Cannabis is consumed orally by infusing cannabis products into food and drinks. Cannabis can be infused into these items through oils and butters. In some cases, for example in smoothies and teas, the flower is infused as it is.
To consume cannabis sublingually, oils or tinctures are placed under the tongue, where they are absorbed into the bloodstream.
Sublingual options like tinctures, oils and concentrations can be hard to find due to the legal status of cannabis in Auckland. However, they are noticeably healthier than inhalation.
Will Cannabis Culture Be Making Waves in New Zealand Soon?
The New Zealand government is scheduled to hold a referendum which will allow New Zealanders to decide on the legal status of cannabis within the country. As announced by chief minister Andrew Little, the referendum will take the form of a simple yes or no questionnaire which will be answered by interested voters.
If the residents of New Zealand vote positively on the referendum, the country may be gearing up to witness a 360 turn on the way it recognises that cannabis culture right now. Legalisation will free people who have abstained or stayed quiet about their use due to the illegal status of cannabis to openly participate in the culture and community.
If the referendum is passed, it may be the start of a revolution for cannabis culture within New Zealand.