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It's not too late for the obligatory 4/20 book post

April 20, 2010 |  5:24 pm

Marijuana sample

Today, April 20, is 4/20, or four-twenty, or 4:20, a phrase whose origins are hazy but which basically has  something to do with smoking marijuana. Four-twenty has entered legend, despite the fact that smoking pot isn't legal -- for now, anyway, although that might change after the November ballot initiative  on legalizing marijuana.

In January, with the help of writer Mark Haskell Smith, we came up with a list of our top 10 weed books:

The novels "Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me" by Richard Farina, "Budding Prospects" by T.C. Boyle and "Vineland" by Thomas Pynchon; "Burning Rainbow Farm: How a Stoner Utopia Went Up in Smoke" by Dean Kuipers, "Cannabis: A History" by Martin Booth, "The Emperor Wears No Clothes: The Authoritative Historical Record of Cannabis and the Conspiracy Against Marijuana" by Jack Herer and "Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower's Bible" by Jorge Cervantes, all nonfiction; and essays, memoir and more in "The Drug User: Documents 1840-1960" edited by John Strausbaugh and Donald Blaise, "The Hasheesh Eater" by Fitz Hugh Ludlow and "Red-Dirt Marijuana and Other Tastes" by Terry Southern.

Today at the Daily Beast, author Sam Munson lists six significant stoner novels. Our only overlap is Boyle's "Budding Prospects" -- check out Munson's complete list here.

And if you get distracted and forget to click, don't stress. Famous stoner comedians Cheech and Chong, whose new film "Cheech and Chong's Hey Watch This" was released today, were asked by the website LAist if they have celebrated 4/20. Chong's response: "With me it’s usually 4/21, because I always forget it’s 4/20. They go, 'Well, it was 4/20.' Oh, really? Okay, well, let’s celebrate. It’s never too late."

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: A sample of Blue Goo at Green Oasis, a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times