Each year on April 20th, advocates for marijuana around the world celebrate cannibis culture.
Last year, more than 1,000 people gathered in London’s Hyde Park to mark the weed holiday.
For the longest, smokers have been celebrating this world renowned underground “holiday.”
From Amsterdam to California 4/20 is widely respected by many.
In honor of the illegal drug, in some states, participants come together to partake in what some would call a ‘smoke session’ at 4:20 pm and depending on the group, some would smoke joint after joint for the entire day. Talk about stoned!
This cannabis culture is celebrated all over but few really know the meaning behind the 4:20 numeric tradition. It has often been believed that 4:20 originated from police code, referencing to marijuana smoking in process.
Little do these annual celebrators know that 4:20 in penal code terminology actually means something different. Section 420 of the California Penal Code actually means ‘Obstructing entry on public land.’ While other states’ list entries for 420 differ, none of them have anything to do with marijuana.
Now that the myth of 4:20 has been clarified, let’s talk about where 4:20 really originated from.
The term 4:20 originated from a group of high school friends who soon became closely associated with the band, The Grateful Dead. These high school students attended San Rafael high school in northern California in 1971.
It was in the Autumn that these five teenagers gained possession of a hand-drawn map. This map was supposedly a map that would lead these teens to a large marijuana crop located at Point Reyes, which is North of San Francisco.
The five friends, who were all known as “The Waldos” would meet at 4:20 pm after school. The plan everyday was to follow the map in hopes of discovering a treasure that all would deeply appreciate. This supposed marijuana crop was the main focal point of the friends’ journey.
“We were smoking a lot of weed at the time,” band member, Dave Reddix, who went by the name ‘Waldo Dave’ said. “Half the fun was just going looking for it.”
The term 4:20 spread among the band’s fans, known as the deadheads.
Initially the term was not used to establish a specific time to smoke the popular plant.
“The time we got out of school was approximately 3pm, but some of us had after school sports activities that lasted until after 4pm.” One member shared with Huffington Post.
The band has, since then, contributed to somewhat of a historical hall of fame to marijuana smokers. Although the meaning for 4:20 doesn’t reflect meeting afterschool to search for pot crops, the term 4:20 is used all over for many different events and names.
Various cities annually celebrate “Hemp Festivals” on April 20th. In California there is a 4:20 Record Label. Also, Highway 420 radio broadcasts music for the “chemically enhanced”, just to name a few.
It is natural for individuals to turn their nose up at marijuana, but surprisingly marijuana has been used for the progression and rehabilitation in various medicinal uses.
According to Marijuana Business Daily, the marijuana economy is expected to reach $44 billion by the year 2020. Now made legal in many states, marijuana is making it’s breakthrough. Actress and talk show host, Whoopi Goldberg partnered with Maya Elisabeth. Elisabeth runs a medical marijuana company. In 2016 Goldberg announced her launch of the medical marijuana products that aid women with period pain.
Steve Hager, former editor of the Huffington Post publication, said that no one has been able to come up with a use of 4:20 that pre-dates the Waldo’s 1971 story.
“So unless somebody can come up with something that pre-dates them, then I don’t think anybody’s going to get credit for it other than them [ The Grateful Death] he said.”