Ah, springtime at Stony Brook. A time when the looming dread of exams in our hearts is drowned out by ill-advised frivolity. We go to parties and we binge-watch entire shows on Netflix while simultaneously telling ourselves to study. After the past few days, I’m fairly confident I could write a B- dissertation on how “The Powerpuff Girls” combines ‘50s pulp style and modern social senses to break down gender roles.
Much like “The Powerpuff Girls,” April at Stony Brook gets better as it goes on. The second wave of midterms concludes about halfway through, giving way to a few weeks that have sugar, spice and everything nice. Brookfest, Trevor Noah and, packed right in-between, Stony Brook’s favorite day of the year: April 20.
About a year ago today, I discussed at length why 4/20 is a high point of the semester — it has some significance in scientific history and comes at a time when people are looking to relax. But since writing that article, it has come to my attention that April 20 is important to a whole different group of people: stoners.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “Stoners, at Stony Brook?” It’s a shock, I get it. But hear me out. Let’s add 4/20 to the all too short list of days that us Seawolves get a break from class.
Stoners are going to cut class either way. Why should we, the hardworking students who know better than to use this date as an excuse to cut class, have to sit in a classroom feeling burnt out while our classmates relax at such a stressful time? Class at that point is really an exercise of smoke and mirrors.
At first it might seem like giving these people a respite for doing the wrong thing would be counterproductive, but nothing could be further from the truth.
A day off in the middle of one of the semester’s busiest weeks leaves time for rest and relaxation, which are critical to performance in class. Greater focus in class can lead to great things. Marie and Pierre Curie isolated radium on April 20, 1902. If we should honor anyone on a day about pot, it should be the couple whose hard work led to countless discoveries about radiation, which causes cancer. What helps cancer patients? Pot.
Illegal marijuana usage at Stony Brook tends to be on the down-low anyway — you’d have to be a trained detective to figure out that anyone here even uses the stuff. This is fitting since the first ever story to be considered a work of detective fiction, “Murder at the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allen Poe, was actually published on April 20, 1841. The telltale sign of a stoner, smoke, is loath to be seen around our campus.
Pot may only be legal for medical reasons in most places now, but the DEA has said that they will soon be deciding if marijuana will be rescheduled from its current status as a Schedule I drug, which places it alongside heroin, LSD and ecstasy. This would be a big deal for the growing legalization movement and might just move the administration towards considering the break from classes.
Whether you’re a boozer, user or a snoozer, everybody loves a day off. It’s a fun thing to consider as you whisk away your finals fears and look forward to the greener grass on the other side.