What does “420” Actually Mean

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Every year on 20th April, marijuana consumers around the world celebrate the cannabis culture. Whether or not you are a cannabis enthusiast, you have probably aware of this unofficial holiday that is celebrated worldwide. Many people celebrate 420 on the 20th of April. But what Is the history behind this date?

The Story Behind 420

The term “420” aka “Smoke Weed Every Day” traces back all the way to 1971, in Marin County, California. Back then there was a group of five high school students: Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel and Mark Gravich that used to call themselves the Waldos. The friends opted to give themselves this name as their hangout spot was a wall outside the school.

The group of friends had heard an interesting story from someone from the Coast Guard, that there was a plot of cannabis located near Point Reyes National Seashore. The Waldos show an interesting adventure and this story and decided that they had to look for the cannabis plot.  Every day the group would meet at their usual hangout spot at 4:20. In the beginning they try to refer to it as “4:20 Louis”, however ultimately they shortened their phrase to simply “4:20”. This term became popular among the group.

To hunt for the cannabis plot, the group had a treasure map that was made by the grower. Based on this treasure map the group started searching for the missing cannabis plot. Despite the fact that the group of friends never found the cannabis plot, they kept on using the code “420” whenever they discussed their drug use. This term caught on both in the group as outside the group once outsiders heard the code name for the popular plant.

How did the term “420” become commonly used?

One of the Waldo’s older brothers was a friend of one of the Grateful Dead’s bassist, Phil Lesh. After hearing the clever code for the popular plant, he decided to spread it around. According to Mother Jones, Deadheads took the code and passed out flyers with the text “Smoke pot hardcore” at 4:20 p.m. This has led to the term getting linked to cannabis and to the cannabis community.

The 20th of April has become an international counterculture holiday where people in the cannabis culture gather to celebrate and consume cannabis. During this day many people get together to smoke cannabis, celebrate the culture or advocate for the liberation/legalization of cannabis. Over the years the term has become so popular that it has grown to a mainstream term often used by people outside of the cannabis community as well.

And just to think of that this term started all the way back in 1971 and was created by a group of high school students. Now let’s enjoy the day. Happy 420 everyone.

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