The History of 420

 

Don’t be left in the smoke. 420 has been widely celebrated for years, but how did this holiday even originate?

The police code for smoking weed. The number of active cannabinoids within the plant. The day Bob Marley was born… or maybe it was the day he died? Oddly enough, Hitler’s birthday — considering cannabis and hate don’t mix well. If you see someone with hazy red eyes munching on a huge bag of Cheeto’s today, feel free to ask them where 420 came from. You’ll probably hear any of the rumors I listed above.

So, on this day of where we celebrate cannabis, let’s set the record straight about 420.

420 – Meet The Waldo’s…

Picture California in the 70’s. A group of high school stoners happen to come across a treasure map leading to a lush cannabis plant, abandoned by a member of the coast guard.

Once a week, the group would meet by the wall of their high school, near the Louis Pasteur Statue to get baked before embarking on an epic journey through the Point Reyes Forest to find the lost green treasure.

With the Waldo’s always meeting at 4:20pm, the code word seemed natural and fitting.

420 meets the Grateful Dead

Picture California in the 70’s. Backstage at a Grateful Dead Concert, the Waldo’s all grown up, smoking joints and still referring to herb by 420.

When your dad manages the bands real estate and one of your friend’s older brothers just happens to be close friends with the bass player, it is not hard to spend time up in VIP.

It didn’t take long before the term 420 was being used regularly by the Grateful Dead and their fans.

Reporter Steve Bloom went to a show and stumbled upon a flyer all about 420 and the reference. Writing for High Times, he immediately latched on to it and the rest is up in smoke. Since then, it has become the most legendary day for stoners worldwide. How do you 420?