The origins of 420 are somewhat shrouded in mystery, but there are several stories that attempt to explain the origins of this beloved cannabis holiday. From a group of high school students in California to a secret code used by police officers, the history of 420 is fascinating and complex.
The Waldos and the Origins of 420 One of the most widely accepted stories about the origins of 420 involves a group of high school students from San Rafael, California, known as the Waldos. In the early 1970s, the Waldos heard about a secret stash of cannabis that was supposedly hidden near their school. They made a plan to meet at 4:20pm every day to search for the stash. They would say “420 Louis” to each other as a code for when they were going to meet.
Although they never found the secret stash, the term “420” stuck and became a code word for marijuana use. The Waldos started using it as slang for smoking cannabis, and it eventually spread throughout California and beyond.
The Grateful Dead Connection Another popular theory about the origins of 420 involves the Grateful Dead. The band was known for their love of cannabis, and their fans were often referred to as “Deadheads.” According to this theory, 420 was a code used by the band and their crew to signal the start of cannabis consumption. The code was supposedly used to prevent unwanted attention from law enforcement.
However, there is no concrete evidence to support this theory, and it is likely that the Grateful Dead simply helped to spread the use of 420 as a term for cannabis use.
Police Code 420 Another theory about the origins of 420 involves police code. According to this theory, 420 was a police code used to refer to cannabis use or possession. However, there is no evidence to support this theory, and it is likely that it is simply a myth.
In fact, the origins of 420 are likely a combination of all of these theories. The Waldos and the Grateful Dead likely helped to popularize the term, and it is possible that police code may have played a role in its use as well.
Celebrating 420 Today Regardless of its origins, 420 has become an important part of cannabis culture around the world. Every year, millions of people come together on April 20th to celebrate the benefits of cannabis and advocate for its legalization.
In recent years, there has been a growing movement to shift the focus of 420 celebrations from a day of recreational use to a day of activism. Many organizations and individuals are using the holiday as an opportunity to push for cannabis reform and raise awareness about the many medical and therapeutic benefits of cannabis.
Whether you choose to celebrate 420 with a party or by getting involved in activism, the history of this beloved holiday is rich and fascinating. From the Waldos to the Grateful Dead to police code, there are many different stories about the origins of 420. But no matter how it started, there is no denying that 420 has become an important part of cannabis culture and a symbol of the fight for cannabis legalization.