Today is April 20, popularly known as 420. If you’ve ever wondered why the number 420 is associated with marijuana, Phish.Net FAQ has answers. Unfortunately, they have too many answers, which is not much better than none at all, at least epistemologically. Nevertheless, what better way to celebrate 420 than with piles of ludicrous, contradictory hypotheses?
And yes, I have my own theory to add. The Phish site mentions Salman Rushdie’s reference to 420 as a number of chaos and trickery. In Hindu mythology, Shiva is the god of chaos (or destruction). He is also an inveterate dopehead who whiles away the millenia getting high atop Mount Kailash and engaging in cosmic nookie with his consort Parvati. So my crackpot (emphasis on the latter syllable) theory is that 420 became associated with the ascetic followers of Shiva, who wander India in loincloths and matted dreadlocks, smoking marijuana chillams, increasing the average holiness of the population, and making respectable folk just a tad nervous.
Whatever your theory, have a happy 420.
Also published on Medium.