Festivals & EventsHappy New Year 2020

420 History: Why This Day and Date Is Synonymous to the Cannabis Culture? Know the History of Weed Day

Representational Image (Photo Credits: unsplash.com)

There is a different feeling in the air. Pot lovers enthusiastically will get together to roll, inhale and hold, exhale and smile, and let the air filled with calm and serenity. While this could be done at any time of the day, but April 20, gives it a slight diverse feel. Each year, on this day, marijuana advocates across the globe, celebrate cannabis culture, whether it is legal or not. But why the numbers 4/20 is synonymous to the cannabis culture? On the celebration of Weed Day 2019, let us take a look at the history, significance and myths associated with 4/20. Carl’s Jr. to Launch CBD-Infused Rocky Mountain High: CheeseBurger Delight. 

The reason as to why the date got chosen is often misunderstood. Some say, 4/20 is the penal code or the California police radio code for marijuana. Others call about the 420 chemicals present in the plant (which is debatable) and then there is a story of Bob Dylan citing his popular song, “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” because 12 multiplied by 35 equals 420. While others even note that 4/20 is also Adolf Hitler’s birthday. But these are blatant rumours, and they are not even closely related to April 20 associated with marijuana.

History of Weed Day, 4/20

It was in 1971, when five high school Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz and Mark Gravich, in San Rafael, California, who would meet at 4:20 every day, when most after-school activities were done. They would smoke near a specific wall outside of their school, earning them the nickname, the “Waldos.” The number gradually became a code for meet up. They used the term in connection with a 1971 plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop that they had learned about, based on a treasure map made by the grower. The Waldos designated the Louis Pasteur statue on the grounds of their high school as their meeting place and 4:20 pm as their meeting time. They referred this treasure hunt with the phrase “4:20 Louis.”

There were several failed attempts by the group to find the crop; they eventually shortened their phrase to simply “4:20,” which later evolved into a code-word that the teens used to mean consuming cannabis. It was the American writer Steven Hager of High Times, who was responsible for taking the story about the Waldos to “mind-boggling, cult-like extremes”.

The five friends hung out with the band the American rock band Grateful Dead, and the use of 4/20 as a code for cannabis began to spread through the band’s followers and its attached subculture. In 1990, the group passed out flyers that allegedly told the story of 420. “Now, there’s something even more grand than getting baked at 4:20,” the flyer read as quoted by several media outlets. “We’re talking about the day of celebration, the real time to get high, the grand master of all holidays: 4/20 or April 20th,” it read further. And that is how 4:20 and April 20, 4/20 became forever marked as Weed Day.