For the past few weeks, social media has popularized the rather unlucky coincidence of Easter and the cannabis holiday on the same day this year – April 20th. The trending catch phrase, “praise it or blaze it,” with a few variations, reveals the rift between the fewer church-goers and rising numbers of marijuana smokers.
Denoted as “420” since its origins by a group of a teenagers in 1971, consumption of marijuana, the most common illicit drug in the United States, has been rising steadily over the past few years to over 19 million users. Last year, studies conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH) of high schoolers document marijuana use on the rise, to approximately 20 percent of girls and 25 percent of boys, most of them juniors and seniors.
On the reverse, the number of weekly church-goers has been declining, and among American Catholics a critical drop from 75% to 45% over the last few decades. Stats also reveal the increasingly common “Easter” Christians, those who only attend the congregation on religious holidays.
To handle the problematic dilemma of increasing illicit drug use, public schools and law enforcement have relied more often nowadays on a high-demand asset: drug-sniffing dogs. Police are beginning to randomly search schools with trained dogs that have an extremely keen sense of smell and hunting instinct, from lockers to classrooms and student parking lots. However, this does not apply to HISD, whose civil liberty policy only requires bus drivers, police officers and other security personnel to be subject to random drug tests (a fortunate cause, depending on who you are).
As for a handful of pastors across the nation, a counter-cause called “Reverse 420: God Keeps Me High” promotes the true meaning of Easter – the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As quoted often from John 3:16 of the Bible, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” According to Christians, through His death and resurrection, Christ paid for all of men’s sins, granting eternal life to those who believe in Him.