Techtimes recently wrote an article that exposed the true meaning of the number and why it has been chosen as an iconic symbol to represent anything associated with marijuana.
The origins of the term are quite funny and innocent, and 420 remains a common code word for marijuana to this day.
It all began in California. According to Laura Rosenfeld,
“The code first came about in the fall of 1971 because the Waldos planned to meet at a statue of Louis Pasteur at the school at 4:20 before they went on an expedition to score some free weed from a plot of marijuana plants abandoned by a Coast Guard service member.
‘We would remind each other in the hallways we were supposed to meet up at 4:20. It originally started out 4:20-Louis and we eventually dropped the Louis,’ Waldo Steve, which is not his real name, told the Huffington Post. The Waldos kept meeting up at 4:20 to find the plot, but even after they were unsuccessful, the group used 420 as code for their pot-related activities, such as asking others if they had any marijuana or if they wanted to smoke some. This helped the Waldos keep their toking on the down-low without their teachers or parents knowing what they were talking about” (1).
420 spread thanks to the band, The Grateful Dead (1). Laura Rosenfeld states, “When the 1960s ended, the Dead left the Haight in San Francisco for the Marin County hills near San Rafael High School, according to the Huffington Post. The Waldos got to know the Dead thanks to Mark Waldo’s father handling the band’s real estate and Waldo Dave’s older brother Patrick befriending the Dead’s bassist Phil Lesh.
The Waldos think it’s likely that they used the code around the Dead, who then may have spread it across the country while on tour” (1). Believe it or not, our culture still looks back to The Grateful Dead, Beat writers, and other 60’s icons as revolutionary figures.
Nowadays, however, 420 has become more mainstream. No longer is 420 a secret code word. Our culture embraces the revolutionary antics of our counter-culture forefathers, though. Today, marijuana is legalized in four states and Washington D.C. As marijuana becomes more accepted, 420 should be celebrated to remember the struggles of the marijuana majority that came before us.
Today, marijuana is legalized in four states and Washington D.C. As marijuana becomes more accepted, 420 should be celebrated to remember the struggles of the marijuana majority that came before us.
Rosenfeld, Laura. “The History Of 420: How April 20 Became National Weed Day.” Techtimes. 18 Apr. 2015. Web, 01 Apr. 2016. http://www.techtimes.com/articles/46015/20150418/the-history-of-420-how-april-20-became-national-weed-day.htm