The Origin of 4/20 – Weed Day
Why is 4/20 Associated with Weed?
On international weed day, we take a look at the story behind the origins of 4/20 and a brief look into its history, myths, and legends as best as we can see.
April 2020 and April 2021 sure haven’t played out the way we expected it to Y2019 – when we were all sharing memes about the entire month being 4/20. But as humans, we adapt, and that’s what we are doing. Here at Loud News Net, we are working most of the day today. We’ll catch up with you later on this evening as far as celebrating goes. We hope you are enjoying your day, and happy 4/20. If you haven’t already, head on over and check out our perfect plan for staying at home today.
Rumors and Myths around 420 Police Code
As is the case with much of human history, it’s difficult to pin down exactly what happened unless you were there to obverse the events yourself. The origins of 420 surely are no different. Some people seem to think that 4/20 originated as being a part of California’s criminal code for the distribution of cannabis. But upon further review, that’s the code for obstructing entry on public land.
LAPD doesn’t have a police code 420 for anything. Neither does the NYPD. San Francisco police do have 420 as a part of their police code, but that’s reserved for juvenile disturbance.
Origins of 4/20 – Bob Dylan
Another theory about the origins of 420 that seems to be a myth is the Bob Dylan song Rainy Day Women #12 and 35. 12 multiplied by 35 is 420. There’s a line in the song that says “everybody must get stoned,” so this is where the theory comes from. But Dylan never confirmed the song had anything to do with 420, so that’s likely another myth.
Where did the term 4/20 came From – the Legend of the Waldos
The theory about the origins of 4/20 that does seem to hold some water is the legend of the Waldos. Legend has it that students from San Rafael High School in Marin County, California in the 1970s used to meet up at 4:20 to toke up. The time of day was perfect because they were out of school, yet their parents still hadn’t come home yet. The legend goes that the Waldos used this unsupervised time to consume cannabis, and then became part of their vernacular in order to discuss weed around unsuspecting adults. From there, the legend has it that 420 spread in the same way that so many things cannabis-related have throughout the years: in the parking lots of Grateful Dead shows.
Significance of 4/20
Now you know that a group of Californian teenagers ritualistically smoked marijuana every day at 4:20 pm. The ritual spread, and soon 420 became code for smoking weed. Eventually, 420 was converted into 4/20 (April 20) for calendar purposes, and the day of celebration was born. Why 4/20 is important varies from person to person. Some people just want to get high and have fun. Others see the day as a day to push for legalization or celebrate legalization now that more states have adopted it and it has popular sentiment around it.
Grateful for 4/20 Marijuana Holiday
The parking lot of Grateful Dead shows is an amazing experience. I personally never had the pleasure of seeing Jerry Garcia perform live, but his band members kept the Dead experience alive many years after Garcia passed. Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters were largely responsible for making the Dead as popular as they were and have been. According to some folks, the same holds true for making 420 a household name.
It’s thanks to Deadheads, beatniks, hippies, and music festival attendees that everyone knows what 4/20 is now. This is according to OG counterculture journalist Steve Hagar. There are people who were lucky enough to experience the first-ever cannabis cups, which took place circa 1997 on 4/20. They had 300 vendors and 20,000 attendees, and the rest, as they say – is history. The Cannabis Cup has grown into one of the biggest gatherings of all things cannabis in the world.
So, are you 4/20 friendly?
Being 420 friendly simply means that an individual or place is accepting of people who smoke weed and probably smoke themselves. So are you weed-friendly or not?
Keep it Loud
We hope this shines a little light on the history of 420 for you. This article is just a briefing, but you can surely go down the rabbit hole and read much more about the Merry Pranksters, Deadheads, the Waldos and so much more – if that’s how you want to spend part of your 420.
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Shout out to Alexander Belinskiy for the free stock image of 420.