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What is 420? The Origin of the Most Known Cannabis Term

What is 420?

The term 420 symbolizes different things related to the consumption of cannabis. Primarily, it’s a slang term that was used by students to invite each other for a smoking session at 4:20pm.

Secondly, the phrase refers to the April 20, a day dedicated to marking cannabis culture.

The Origin of 420

The phrase – 420 – started with a group of high school students in 1971. These kids used to call themselves the Waldos. The students at San Rafael High School, California were in the habit of gathering at 4.20pm to smoke after school. When you would see each other across the hallways during the day, their code used to be ‘420 Louis’ meaning, let us meet at Louis Pasteur statue at 4.20 pm to smoke.

With time, the phrase somehow caught on. In fact, when the Grateful Dead picked it up eventually, ‘420’ spread across the entire community like wildfire.

A silly code started by a bunch of high school students between classes is currently a worldwide code. As indicated earlier, it represents an even throughout the world for legalization activists and smokers everywhere. Indeed, it wasn’t a bad accomplishment for the group of high school stoners.

Waldo Steve, one of the supposed teens said,

We used to remind one another in the hallways that we’re supposed to meet at 4.20pm. Originally, it started out 4.20-Louis but eventually we dropped the Louis. We would meet at that time; get inside my old 1966 Chevy Impala, smoke weed instantly and all the way to PL. Reyes. My friends and I did it every week.

The term was not only used by the students to call out each other to smoke pot but also for more. In fact, before that they would gather at that time to go on a hunt for a cannabis plant plot that was supposedly growing adjacent to the Point Reyes Peninsula Coast Guard Station. At 4.20, they would meet just outside the school, drive to the area, and conduct a search countless times. While they were quite unlucky to find the patch, the numbers 420 became a useful code for them to talk with each other.

According to Steve, their teachers never understood anything they were talking about; the same for their parents.

Hanging out with the Grateful Dead

The five friends used to hang out with the popular band, the Grateful Dead. Part of the reason for making the phrase spread so far and fast was because of their close ties with this band. Actually, the use of 420 started to spread via fans of the band as well as its attached subculture.

Journalist Steve Bloom, a writer for Celebstoner.com, in 1990, was given a flyer that shared the story of 420 when he attended one of the Grateful Band’s shows in Oakland, California. You can check out his story here.

Is 420 really observed today?

Oh yes, passionate cannabis advocates observe this date up to today. From California to London, Amsterdam to Bogota, pot enthusiasts celebrate cannabis culture. Whether it’s illegal or legal doesn’t matter. Folks turn out in large numbers to celebrate the crop.

For instance, last year, over 1,000 folks assembled at Hyde Park in London to mark 4/20. They smoked joints together at the same time as they called for the legalization of cannabis.

How do people celebrate weed day?

Festivities are normally widespread across the United States. Observances have been marked in areas such as Parliament Hill in Ontario, and Hippie Hill in Golden Park, SF, CA.

As earlier noted, pot lovers in other countries have adopted the tradition as well. For instance, Hyde Park in London, United Kingdom has proven to be a hotspot for the celebrations over the years.

In New Zealand, celebrations are normally marked at the University of Otago.

In most if not all of the events, revelers not only smoke weed but also use the festivities to protest for legalization of pot.

In a number of years back, Snapchat has launched a face filter option on Weed Day. This year, the feature allowed users to display a 420 graphic just for that particular day.

2017 best 420 celebrations in the world?

There’s no doubt that 420 is normally full of fun. That is especially true if the day happens to fall on a weekend. The following were the best 420 events in 2017:

  • Free cannabis community 420 picnic – This amazing event took place in Sydney, Australia.
  • 420 in the Park – The event was in San Francisco, California.
  • Hempstock 2017 – Glasgow hosted the sixth annual Hempstock. The event started at 10am.
  • London 420 Rally – Hyde Park in London, UK was the host of the London 420 Rally. Thousands graced the event to protest against the criminalization of pot.
  • Elite Cup 420 Festival – The Amsterdam’s Elite Cup Festival was lit. It was in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • 420 Toronto – As the name suggests, the event was in Toronto, Canada.
  • The 420 Rally – The special event was in Denver. One of the best attributes about this event is the fact that unlike with other years, this year’s was free to the public. Additionally, 2-Chainz performed at the concert.
  • Cloud City – Cloud City was an event in Portland. To say the least, it was the largest 420 event in the Northwest region. Lupe Fiasco, Big K.R.I.T, Rick Ross, and TY Dolla Sign were all in the house.
  • National Cannabis Festival – Any pot enthusiasts residing in Washington D.C. and surrounding areas definitely had the time of their lives at the National Cannabis Festival.

Final Thoughts

No other theory seems to point to the origin of 420 before that of the Waldos. Today, the catchphrase is highly popular in the cannabis culture and world at large.

Chances are high that you’ll never find a marijuana enthusiast that doesn’t consider 420 as a sacred date and time.

Did you miss this year’s 420 celebrations? If you did, then you have every reason to purpose to attend next year’s.

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