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How April 20th Became The International Day Of Weed

April 22, 2019 3 min read

420 watch leaf on a green background

Where Did The Term 4/20 Even Come From?

Stoners have been marking April 20th on their calendars since most of us can remember, but how did the highly celebrated holiday originate? Grab your bong or bubbler and strap in for the ride as we separate 4/20 fact from fiction. 

 

There are so many theories out there, it’s hard to find out the stoned cold truth. A quick online search for the 4/20 origin story will send you deeper down the reefer rabbit hole than you’d ever want to go. Lucky for you, I combed through all the conspiracies and found the truth — but before I tell you what's legit and what's fake, try to guess which one of these is actually the reason for the infamous holiday:

  1. 420 is the police dispatch code for a cannabis-related issue.
  2. 420 is named after the California Penal Code Section 420.
  3. There are 420 chemical compounds in cannabis.
  4. 4/20 is Bob Marley’s death anniversary.

The answer is…drumroll please…none of the above. 

4/20 Myths Debunked

1. The police code 420 is only used in Las Vegas — for homicide. 

 

2. What about CA Penal Code Section 420? Well, it actually refers to “anyone who willfully obstructs entry on public land”. So unless you’re secretly growing some sticky icky on government land, this one doesn’t have much to do with weed.

 

3. As far as the number of chemical compounds in cannabis, the real number is around 500. You can see the five core compounds in marijuana here

 

4. Last but not least, the reggae legend Bob Marley died on May 11, 1981. Don’t worry if you answered incorrectly, in the words of our favorite Rastafarian, “Every little thing’s gonna be all right.”

So How Did 4/20 Really Start?

 The truth is that it all started in the 1970s with five high school students in California. This group of dudes who called themselves “the Waldo’s”got their hands on a “treasure map”that supposedly led to an abandoned weed plant. 

     
Source: Santiago Mejia / The Chronicle

 In their efforts to track down some free bud, they met after school every day at 4:20 pm. They would pile into their car and blaze up while scouring their town for the legendary stash, but they never found it. 

The term stuck though, and the group kept using it as a sneaky way to refer to blazing up after class. 

Now you might be wondering how this small group of friends turned their cannabis codeword into a global holiday. Well, it goes back to the epic stoner band The Grateful Dead. 

 

“The Waldo’s” had connections to the band and spent enough time around the rockers that they adopted the term for their own. From there it spread through the kush community and even made it to “High Times” magazine — the rest is history. 

4/20 Becomes A Symbol Of Activism And Pride In Cannabis Culture

 

Nowadays 4/20 encompasses so much of weed culture, from the daily 4:20 bowl (AM or PM) to inspiring worldwide pro-cannabis activism, and of course, the massive yearly holiday that's just around the corner. 

We love the number 420 so much we even named our website after it! All of our prices are some variation of 420, and as part of our mission to make smoking essentials accessible to all, we have an entire section of amazing items for just $4.20

Before you go all out this 4/20, make sure to check out some of the amazing products on our website. Oh, anddon’t forget to get in the holiday spirits by taking 10% off sitewide using coupon code “BLESSUP”!

 


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