Did legalized marijuana lead to a crime wave in Colorado? Amy Ford, a spokeswoman with the Colorado Department of Transportation, told USA Today that mile marker 420 on I-70 east of Denver was replaced with a sign reading: MILE 419.99 because “People kept ripping them off.”
If you’re not a hip stoner 4:20 is the socially accepted hour to smoke your weed. Purportedly a group of teenagers from San Rafael California met at a statue of Louis Pasteur at 4:20 every afternoon in the fall of 1971 to search for an legendary abandoned field of marijuana plants. The truth is more that Steve Hager of High Times was responsible for taking the story about the Waldos to “mind-boggling, cult like extremes.” However the phrase originated April 20th has become a widely popular counter culture holiday and 420 is recognized slang for marijuana.
Conservative pundits who still think Reefer Madness is a documentary are pointing to the sign theft as a result of the recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado. Since the state also replaced the sign marking mile 69 in Cameron Pass with 68.5 the extension of this argument means that oral sex also leads to criminal behavior. These pundits must come from Georgia or perhaps Florida where it’s still illegal to have sex with a porcupine. They’re also forgetting that April 20th is Hitler’s birthday but I’m still betting on Frat boys rolling in from Kansas for party supplies as the culprits.
Sign theft is nothing new: Bat Cave, North Carolina has a problem keeping it’s signs up and so does Intercourse, Pennsylvania. Instead of using the Colorado solution New Jersey, Texas and Utah have all gone so far as to renumber roads to avoid the dreaded 69. The village of Shitterton in the United Kingdom had to resort to a stone slab weighing several tons to keep their welcome sign in place. It can’t all be those kids from That Seventies Show looking for a gift for Hyde can it?