UConn Responds to 4/20: The smoker’s holiday

D.P. Dough is gearing up for its annual 4/20 sale, its busiest day of the year. It will sell four calzones for $20 (Charlotte Lao/The Daily Campus)

D.P. Dough is gearing up for its annual 4/20 sale, its busiest day of the year. It will sell four calzones for $20 (Charlotte Lao/The Daily Campus)

A picture of a “420 Exit” street sign is the headline of this year’s annual ad for D.P. Dough’s 4/20 sale: four calzones for $20. Other local businesses surrounding the University of Connecticut Storrs campus are also referencing the smoker’s holiday within their specials for 4/20, including D.P. Dough, Wally’s Chicken Coop, Ted’s Restaurant and Bar and Sgt. Pepperoni.

Local food organization Hungry Huskies will offer Ted’s special of  four boneless wings, a side of fries and a 12-ounce soda or bottled water for $4.20; and a Wally’s special of a mini chicken portion with fries for $4.20.

Sgt. Pepperoni will also offer its “Pie of the Month,” named “ 420 Blaze It,” a pizza with a BBQ base, topped with buffalo chicken tenders, mac ‘n’ cheese bites, bacon, mozzarella and nacho cheese and Doritos crumbs.

D.P. Dough owner Cory Hill, said the 4/20 advertisement began when he was the general manager of the D.P. Dough near the University of Delaware. Hill came up with the idea along with the owner of the Delaware restaurant, and the first 4/20 ad was born in April 2009.

April 20 is the busiest day of the year for D.P Dough, Hill said.

“Every year we break our record….We (Storrs) have the most calzones ever sold out of all 27 stores within the franchise,” Hill said.

Hill said the restaurant is expected to break the record of most calzones sold out of the entire franchise again this April 20.

“I’m not too familiar with the policies of decriminalization, but many organizations are pushing for recreational use...I don’t really know if (local restaurants) have an impact on policy...we accept the lifestyle, we have to be progressive, college students are the definition of progressive,” Hill said, when asked about his views on marijuana policy and D.P. Dough’s advertisements.

Psychology and health and wellness through music double major Jennifer Purdon has been the president of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy club since the spring semester of 2015.

“To me 4/20 is a large part of marijuana and cannabis culture medically, socially, (for) adult use and for whatever else they choose. I don’t have a problem with it personally. (4/20) is an opportunity for marijuana users to partake openly with peers and their friends. It’s a form of protest [regarding marijuana policy] for some...As a culture, it connects people,” Purdon said.

“(Local) businesses make money off of weed smokers...it helps smaller businesses. (Advertisements) play on the fact that people are choosing to smoke...any opportunity to save money, I’m cool with it,” Purdon said in regards to the local restaurant advertisements on April 20.

Sixth-semester psychology major Alisha Rolon also shared her thoughts on the smoker’s holiday.

“I would say at least seventy percent of the campus definitely participates in the holiday...it seems like the campus almost promotes it with deals offered on campus from local restaurants,” Rolon said.

In regards to if marijuana policy within Connecticut will legalize recreational use in the future, Rolon said, “Yes, I definitely think so. It’s only a matter of time,” Rolon said.

“I’m not aware of any problems we’ve experienced on campus relating to [4/20]...the university doesn’t tend to get involved in local businesses’ advertising decisions, or to have an opinion on whether they choose to highlight particular trends or events,” university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said.

The beginning of the smoker’s holiday is hazy in most memories. One of the most popularly believed stories is of The Waldos, a group of students who met at the Louis Pasteur statue at San Rafael High at 4:20 p.m. during the 1971 school year to smoke marijuana. “420 came to be the group’s term for meeting up to smoke marijuana,” according to the Huffington Post.

The Grateful Dead reclaimed the term as a verb, (“420ing”), and has since been a celebrated holiday. The term “420” has been recognized largely in pop culture and other mainstream settings. California’s medical marijuana passed legislature was named “SB420” and the classic movie, “Pulp Fiction” is said to have multiple clocks set to “4:20” as a marijuana reference, according to the Huffington Post.


Kristina Carretero is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at kristina.carretero@uconn.edu.