Today is April 20, known as “420” in pro-cannabis circles — a day in which pot-smoking is celebrated in a number of places around the United States. So, I wondered if there were any user-generated maps of 420 party locations findable in Google Maps (only out of intellectual curiosity!). While I couldn’t find any 420 parties there, I did find maps pinpointing places where one can purchase marijuana, such as this map created by HIGH TIMES Magazine:
Of course the locations are for people interested in medical marijuana. A cursory search for places to buy illegal drugs didn’t immediately turn up anything, although I’m mildly surprised that enterprising drug sellers haven’t thought of creating custom maps in Google to promote places where people can buy it.
Certainly the police know how to use Google Maps as well, and one might expect they’d clue into map promotion of drug seller locations pretty quickly and sting them.
If you’re wondering, I don’t think it’s illegal to map locations of where to buy medical marijuana, or even illegal drugs. It probably isn’t against Google Maps’ terms and conditions of use, either.
It’s unsurprising that 420-related terms are spiking in search today. Google Trends reports that the phrase “420 meaning” has a “Hotness” of “On Fire” at the moment, and they also list “April 20th” as another top-ten search phrase today:
Google Trends also reports other related searches as: “4/20”, “420”, “april 20th weed day”, “april 20”, and “4 20”. I’m thinking that medical marijuana dispensary/pharmacy websites could have successfully leveraged the search spikes, particularly within Google Maps, if they had targed content to these phrases. But, do they really need to? Their customers likely seek them out via word-of-mouth marketing and via social media.
As for 420 celebration locations, supporters likely already know where the main locations are, since they’ve been well-publicized on pro-marijuana sites for quite some time. Or, perhaps heavier cannabis users find it technically challenging to create custom maps? 😉