From “420” to Cannabis Culture: The History of 4/20
Ah, 420, the biggest holiday for cannabis enthusiasts and the largest sales day for dispensaries. But have you ever wondered where this date originated from? Buckle up, because we’re about to take you on a journey through time and unveil the mystery behind 420.
There are a lot of rumors about what 420 means, but the most widely accepted story is tied back to an inside joke between a group called “the Waldos.”
The Origin Story
Let’s travel back to 1971, when a group of 5 high school students from San Rafael, California, used to hang out on the “wall” at their school.
One day a friend gave them a map from his brother who was in the Coast Guard. He had supposedly planted some cannabis plants in Point Reyes but was afraid of getting caught. He said if they found them, they could keep them.
So the Waldos would meet up at 4:20 pm to smoke weed and search for the abandoned crop.
The number “420” became their secret code word for smoking weed. And, as time went on, it spread beyond their circle.
One of the Waldos’ brothers was friends with Phil Lesh from the Grateful Dead. While they were touring, they would all hang out and sesh before shows. The Waldos spread the “420” code word around backstage, and soon enough, it became part of the Grateful Dead culture. As more people started using it, the term evolved into a symbol for cannabis culture. Almost as a way to identify oneself as a part of the community.
Fast forward to today, and 4/20 is celebrated as a holiday in the cannabis community around the world. Dispensaries often offer special deals and promotions, making it one of the biggest sales days of the year.
So, whether you’re celebrating 4/20 with a joint in hand or just curious about the culture behind it – we hope this little trip down memory lane has been both informative and enjoyable.