A little history of 420 420, 4:20 or 4/20 (pronounced four-twenty in English).
This expression is enough to cause chills in cannabis enthusiasts, this expression used in North America is a way of identifying with the counter-culture surrounding cannabis.
420 also designates the time of day when it is 4:20 a.m., the best time to light up a cannabis joint. Everyone knows the tradition of the 420, but do you really know the history of the 420? The origins of the 420. There are many myths and legends surrounding the history of the 420 and even if the original dates are unclear, what happened that day is however very clear: reunite on April 20 to light a cannabis joint. Smoking cannabis on April 20, preferably at 4:20 a.m., or 4:20 p.m. has become a kind of Oktoberfest but for cannabis.
A day of celebration dedicated to the consumption of this substance.
But then why this date of April 20 was chosen rather than another date? Where exactly does this tradition come from?
The origins of 420.
The tradition started in 1971 with a group of teenagers better known as the Waldos, who grew up in Marin County, California. Their names “Waldos” come from the word “wall” because this group of teenagers liked to hang out near a wall at San Rafael High School. The Waldos included Mark Gravitch, Dave Reddix and Steve Capper. They first tried to protect their identity, to preserve their future lives as responsible adults.
The founding fathers of cannabis history.
Back then, in the 1970s, this group of friends would meet up after school at 4:20. They were at this time in search of a mythical and legendary abandoned weed plantation not far from the Point Reyes Coast Guard barracks. Before heading out into the wilderness of Point Reyes they would smoke a joint or two. They searched for weeks. They found nothing. Even though they continued (unsuccessfully) to try to find the secret stash of weed, the date of the meeting remained. It ended up becoming a code for the whole school, to designate everything that revolved around cannabis. A legend that lasts. The term 4/20 should have died in the region with the end of the Waldo. Except that Waldo Dave’s big brother was a friend of Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh. The Waldo were the “patient zero” of 4/20, Lesh and the Grateful Dead were the vector.
They took the term and kept it with them for 35 years of touring the planet, during which they smoked pot, popularizing the use of the term 4/20 when talking about weed. Once in the hands of the whimsical and subversive community of stoners – who have always loved the abounding jargon attached to their love of weed – 4/20 has made its way to plenty of fun places.
Very quickly this story, or rather the versions of this story, spread to the United States.