What is 420?
Every culture has its myths and legends including the cannabis culture. The majority of cultural myths and legends present altered or completely fabricated stories. Stoners don’t lie (wink) and the 420 story is as real as a freshly grown cannabis plant. You must have encountered “420” in a lot of spaces and your curiosity is burning red hot. So what does 420 mean?
History of 420
In order to fully grasp the details, let’s travel back to where it all began.
The year is 1971 and the location is San Rafael, California. We’re currently taking a walk on the grounds of San Rafael High School. It boasts the looks of any great 70’s high school (this is taking place in black & white).
Behold, an amazing statue of Louis Pasteur before us. Just as we’re admiring the statue, five students suddenly converge at the statue. We later got to know their names as Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz and Mark Gravich.
There is nothing peculiar about the sight of them. Students are all over the place doing their business. The next day, we are at the same location. It’s odd finding these 5 students again at the Louis Pasteur statue. Maybe this is their special spot? But they leave as soon as they get here? A meeting point it is, bingo (Holmes, you cracked the case)!
It’s been one week and we’ve observed that these guys meet up here right about 4:20pm. Is this normal or are we about to get on a dangerous adventure? Let’s follow them, shall we?
420 Origin Story
Audience: Our patience is wearing thin, cut to the chase!
Narrator: You weren’t enjoying my story? Well, since we’re still in 1971, we could ask them ourselves? Hey Reddix, what are you guys up to?
Reddix: This is me & my buddies. We call ourselves the Waldos (with a W). I guess you already know our names. We gather at the Louis Pasteur statue everyday by 4:20pm. You already know that too don’t you? Well, we’re trying to find an abandoned cannabis crop based on this map (unfolds the map).
You see, me and my buds use the phrase “4:20 Louis” as a reminder for our meetup. We just say “420” now and it’s caught on. It’s still 1971 and marijuana is still illegal, so it’s morphed into a code-word for consuming cannabis.
It didn’t go viral immediately. Viral, that’s what you guys call it in the future right? So I’ve got another buddy who plays bass for the Grateful Dead. His name is Phil Lesh. I might have used the word “420” around him a couple times. They made it go viral. You can check out this full interview at the huffpost.
So, what does 420 mean? No more stories. Let’s puff and pass the answer. 420 means that you’re cool with smoking pot.
What Does Happy 420 mean?
420 can be written as 4:20 (time) as well as 4/20 (date). The 3 numbers have been manipulated to represent more than one thing. April 20 has become an international holiday for people to gather and set the whole place ablaze. Not literally anyways. Cannabis users aren’t violent, people are violent. Have you witnessed how calming these strains are?
Other opportunities explored during the celebration include protests and advocating for cannabis legalization.
420 as in 4:20pm
There are cannabis users who are accurate timekeepers. 4:20pm has become a symbolic time for consuming cannabis. One may even argue that 4:20pm is the designated time for consuming cannabis.
What does 420 friendly mean?
420 friendly is simply an expression indicating the acceptance of pot. It may be on ads, a dating site or housing area. Whenever the person or place accommodates weed smoking, it’s termed “420 friendly”.
Misconceptions around 420
420 Is a Police Code
There are people who think that 420 is a police code for describing catching someone smoking.
Cannabis has 420 Chemical Compounds
Cannabis plant has over 400 chemical compounds but it has nothing to do with 420.
Bob Dylan invented 420
Internet discoveries can be quite mesmerizing sometimes. Coincidences don’t make the situation any better. Bob Dylan made a reference to the numbers 12 & 35 in his song ‘Rainy Day’. Do the math (12 x 35 = ? ). References to cannabis were also made in the song, thereby strengthening the correlation.
Let’s meet at 4:20pm, wink
It’s a new year and April is just a few months away. How do you plan to celebrate 4/20 this year? We’d like to hear! You can even start growing marijuana at home indoors to have enough for the celebration to share with friends.
Do you have more burning questions around cannabis?
Email us at [email protected] with your questions/topic suggestions and we will get back to you!