If your local juice stand, record store, organic food market or head shop seems slightly more inefficient today, that's only because today is April 20 (or 420, 4/20, National Weed Day or High Holiday, depending on your preferred nomenclature). It's an unspoken holiday for anybody who likes to indulge in a little wacky tobacky, as "420" is the generally accepted police code for the possession of marijuana. Though obviously not an official holiday (it does, after all, celebrate an illegal substance), there are still any number of events happening today to "celebrate" the occasion (NORML, an organization dedicated to legalizing ganja, is calling today "Marijuana Freedom Day" and is encouraging people to make donations in the amount of $4.20 to support their cause).
If you plan on celebrating 420 today, you'll need a soundtrack. Plenty of bands have written songs dedicated to grass (like Animal Collective's "Grass"), and many more seem to have focused their entire careers on Mary Jane entirely (Afroman, Kottonmouth Kings). Hip-hop has always reserved a place in its heart for smoke, as Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre can attest. Tom Petty is also included, though after all these years it still isn't clear if "Mary Jane's Last Dance" is about smoking pot or an actually doing a waltz with a dead girl played by Kim Basinger. And of course, where would the stoner world be without the Grateful Dead, perhaps the most drug-friendly band in the history of rock music (and think about that statement's profundity).
But we begin with Cypress Hill, who have an excellent new album out today called Rise Up. (Perhaps not coincidentally, Kottonmouth Kings also have a new album dropping today.) The Hill's classic "Dr. Greenthumb" is a phenomenally sharp anthem about botany — it's no wonder it was Seth Rogen's ringtone in "Pineapple Express."