History Of Tradition 420 In Indonesia And The Cannabis Culture Of The Archipelago From Aceh, Ambon, To Java
Ilustrasi (Ilham Amin / VOI)

JAKARTA - Happy 420! As in previous years, every April 20, the world celebrates international cannabis day. The story of the Waldos Gang from California and their marijuana hunt is believed to have started this celebration. 420 is now being celebrated in Indonesia, a country that has a long history of using cannabis. The 420 celebrations in the country are limited and private, of course.

Citing History, the Waldos Gang consists of five members: Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Larry Schwartz, Jeffrey Noel, and Mark Gravich. One day in the fall of 1971, the gang, which had a habit of hanging outside the walls of the San Rafael school, received information about a member of the coast guard growing marijuana but could no longer care for the plant.

The Waldos gang then devises a search plan, armed with a treasure map that is thought to lead to the field. They do the search once a week. Whenever going on a search, the Waldos Gang would gather under the statue of Louis Pasteur outside the school. They agreed on a meeting time at 4.20pm, after sports practice.

When they met just in time, they would gather in a car and smoke pot, before exploring the Point Reyes forest too, marijuana in hand. In the end the search for treasure may be a fantasy.

Photo illustration (Source: Unsplash)

The term 420 has been coined and used by high school students as a code for discussing marijuana without their parents or teachers knowing. They continue to use the term until it has become a tradition and has spread to the wider community, even almost to the whole world.

In Indonesia, 420 culture has entered through a number of popular cultural products, such as the film Cheech and Chong, Pineapple Express, Harold and Kumar, and many other films. Second, the penetration of 420 culture also includes western music such as Afroman, Snoop Dog, Katchfire, and others.

Finally, of course, due to the growing flow of information on social media. No one can say for sure when this culture of 420 was generally accepted in Indonesia. "However, since 2010 onwards this culture has been quite popular among cannabis lovers," wrote LGN on its website.

The cannabis culture of the archipelago

The culture of using marijuana in the archipelago has actually been carried out since time immemorial. In Aceh, some people even still use marijuana root decoction as a treatment for diabetes.

The cannabis culture of the archipelago began when it was growing. In the past, the cannabis plant was fairly easy to find. Not only in Aceh and other areas in Sumatra, but also in Ambon, Jakarta (Batavia), to Bogor (Buitenzorg). This was revealed in the Ganja in Indonesia Fact sheet released by the Transnational Institute.

“It seems that, during the late 19th century, marijuana was still unknown in Javanese society. However, there is an assumption that the plant may have been cultivated on the island (Java), given the familiarity of the local community with terms such as marijuana, gandja, or gendji, ”he wrote.

Although cannabis cultivation in the Indonesian archipelago is not very popular, it is still grown in Ambon with seeds obtained from Java. Therefore, many people in Ambon and its surroundings use marijuana.

Illustration (Ilham Amin / VOI)

One of them is by consuming marijuana root to treat gonorrhea. Meanwhile, the leaves are sometimes mixed with nutmeg and brewed as a tea for the purpose of reducing asthma, pleuritic chest pain and bile secretion.

In relation to cannabis and Indonesian culture, the book Herbarium Amboinense (1741) by the German-Dutch botanist, GE Rumphius can be used as a reference. He explained the community's familiarity with various marijuana preparations, both for recreational, medical and cooking use of marijuana.

Apart from being used as medical and food consumption, marijuana is also widely used in plantation activities. In many fields in various regions, cannabis is grown among other crops as a deterrent.

Not only in daily life. Marijuana is also used by Indonesians for rituals. This fact can be seen from the reliefs of marijuana leaves found in Kendalisodo Temple on Mount Penanggungan, Mojokerto. The cannabis leaf relief is located on the second level of Kendalisodo Temple.

* Read other information about HISTORY OF NUSANTARA or read other interesting articles from Detha Arya Tifada and Ramdan Febrian.

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