Today is 4/20 – or April 20, for you pedants out there – and if you spend a lot of time on the internet or otherwise consuming pop culture, you probably already know that it’s a trendy day to get high, thanks to the habits of a group of 1970s high school kids who liked to smoke out every afternoon at 4:20. However, it’s not just an undeclared pothead’s holiday; it’s also the real-life birthday of one of gaming’s most enduring, hated and mockable villains, Adolf Hitler.
The second I realized both of those things at the same time, I had a burning question to explore: what if Adolf Hitler, the most infamous hate figure of the 20th century and a fixture in virtually every World War II game, had been a stoner?
Above: It’d explain the red eyes, for starters
As it turns out, Hitler was no stranger to recreational drugs, chiefly methamphetamine (with which he was reportedly injected almost daily) and cocaine. Both of these are widely known as the drugs of choice for terrifying assholes. Terrifying, paranoid assholes. The kinds of assholes who want to hide in vast underground bunkers, surround themselves with heavily armed sycophants and order the deaths of millions before adopting a scorched-earth stance toward their own countries.
Meanwhile, among pot smokers, the biggest assholes tend to be the ones who ruin college parties by insisting that everyone be forced to listen to some reggae right now. I’m stereotyping here, but then again, I did go to college. And while I knew my share of doofuses with subscriptions to High Times and walls decorated by cannabis-themed burlap sacks, only two or three were the type to hijack a political system and subjugate entire nations. Five, tops.
Above: Sadly, none of them could manage a grin as frightening as this
Holy shit, dude, college. Did you know they didn’t even have grades at my school? All I ever had to do was show up and hammer out some pretentious bullshit about Chaucer or Marshall MacLuhan or whatever, and I’d get credit for it. Never even had to crack a book. Do you know how many ridiculous glass bongs the average college student’s book money can buy? I do, and it’s a lot.
Above: Seriously, you have no idea
Oh hey, right, Hitler. So yeah, apparently Hitler’s doctor was always injecting him with meth and dog urine and all kinds of crazy shit for his Parkinson’s or syphilis or whatever, so really, having a toke every once in a while would have been a huge improvement from his normal regimen. At the very least, it wouldn’t have hurt anything. And if he’d been getting high instead of tweaking, Germany’s political makeup in the 1930s and ‘40s would have looked very different.
Consider what we know about most potheads today:
• They don’t commit acts of violence, or really acts of anything else, while stoned.
• They insist on working pot references into every aspect of their lives, from their clothes and dorm-room decorations to gamertags and conversations with strangers on the bus.
What we know today as the National Socialists probably replaced by the Ganjanal Tokelists, or whatever that translates to in German. They probably also would have risen to power on a hemp-centric platform, because as any stoner will tell you, hemp is a super-useful substance that can be used to make uncomfortable uniforms, rope and… uh, ropes… uh…
Above: Ropes are pretty important
Hell, World War II probably wouldn’t have even happened, because unless they found out about the Sudetenland’s massive stocks of nonperishable snack food, Hitler and his pals would’ve sat around arguing about whether the planet was actually a hollow sphere and if, like, we all lived inside of it. (Which, come to think of it, they did anyway.) They probably also would’ve fixated on finding weird old mystical artifacts, because hey, what stoner could resist using the Ark of the Covenant as a massive stash box? That’d be so cool. It’d be, like, you’re keeping your shit where God kept his shit. Just thinking about all the layers and layers of history there must have really blown Hitler’s mind.