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420… Break the code

OK parents, here’s where you find out if you’re cool, or hip, or in the know, or in the not. Saturday is 4/20, and it’s a special day to some people.

Do you know why?

Do you know what “420” means besides that it’s the 20th day of April?

It wasn’t that many years ago that I first heard someone bring up 420 and I had no Earthly idea why that meant anything other than the time of day or the date. But I soon learned that in drug lexicon, it’s a code for marijuana. And the date 4/20 just magnifies it even further…it’s “get high day,” a whole day of celebration of the leafy weed that so many people like to smoke, illegally or not. They may have a parade this year in Colorado!

How 420 came to be the code for marijuana is of great dispute on the Internet. Google it if you feel so inclined, but it really doesn’t matter because “420” has made its way into the vocabulary of American teens. If YOU didn’t know what it meant until now, they certainly do, I can assure you.

Now, whether it’s 4/20 or any other day of the year, as parents, we need to be aware of what our kids are doing.

Could they be experimenting with drugs? Marijuana or something even harder?

Debbie Moak with notMykid, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping parents keep their kids drug free, says they sure could because she found herself in that very boat many years ago. It was her experience that led her to found the organization and she says getting her message out is getting even harder these days because attitudes towards drugs, especially marijuana, are becoming more tolerant. I had the chance to chat with Debbie, the day before 4/20/13 as they were gearing up.