Even if you don’t know anything about the stoner community, you have definitely at least seen a Craigslist ad, online profile, or sign that states the term 420 friendly. To the 420 enthusiast, this can signify a few different things depending if it’s seen in a U.S. state that has legalized dry herb or not. The meaning behind the three digit number is no secret these days and it has even found its way into popular culture. From “Pulp Fiction” to “South Park,” 420 has snuck its way into everything from movies and T.V. series to song lyrics and beyond! If you’re not up to speed, we’re going to break down exactly what’s 420 friendly and the history of this stoner favorite number.
What does 420 friendly mean and where did it come from?
The 420 friendly meaning is simple, but can mean slightly different things depending if you’re in a U.S. state that has legalized recreational use or not. With strict regulations in the past, the definition of the term for 420 enthusiasts has evolved slightly over time. Overall, 420 friendly refers to a safe place to light up a joint or a person who is tolerant of those who smoke and who usually (but not always) also smoke themselves. On a dating site for example, a profile may list that they enjoy hiking, own two dogs, and are 420 friendly, which signifies that the person smokes or that they are fine if a potential life partner regularly lights up. In terms of locations, a restaurant in a legal state that deems themselves 420 friendly means that stoners won’t be judged there and can smoke in peace if they want to take a massive bong rip. In states that haven’t legalized it yet, this can simply mean that the police won’t be called by the business owner. If someone decides to partake on the premises, they will turn a blind eye. A place that is 420 friendly will not sell legal dry herb. You’ll need to procure the goods prior to arriving onsite.
Another thing to keep in mind is that 420 friendly does not mean tobacco or cigarette friendly. In fact, most places or people who are 420 friendly are not tobacco friendly at all and do not permit cigarettes, nicotine vape pens, and sometimes even spliffs to be smoked. Most 420 friendly accommodations for example will not want any tobacco usage indoors since it causes stains and strong permanent scents, while smoke from legal dry herb doesn’t linger too long and airs out rather quickly. Now that you know the 420 friendly meaning and what is and isn’t 420 friendly, let’s dive into the interesting story about how the three digit number came to be.
420 friendly origin
Those within the stoner community thrive on mystery and lore surrounding the green goddess. From adventures across the globe to partake in a legendary strain to accidental cross breeding of plants and debates on who was the first to create a well-known stoner reference, the origin of 420 is just another of the many sensational stories passed down over the years. It’s not a surprise that several conspiracy theories have become popular, but the term 420 actually has nothing to do with Bob Marley, police codes, the plant itself, Adolf Hitler (he was born on 4/20/1889), or Bob Dylan’s song “Everybody must get stoned”. It was actually first used in the early 1970s by a group of teenagers at San Rafael High School in Northern California as a code word for smoking dry herb. The stoner students would meet at 4:20 pm after class was over to light up near a wall outside the school, giving the group the nickname, the Waldos. They didn’t want teachers to know what they were talking about or up to, so they started using the term 420. Some members of the group had connections to the up-and-coming band, the Grateful Dead and would hang out during their practices and smoke. Once the band started to rise in popularity, members of the Waldos would travel with them on tour where they would casually talk about “420ing” even though there was no need for the code word anymore.
The term quickly caught on within the tight-knit DeadHead community, but it wasn’t until 1990 when Steven Bloom, an editor at High Times, went to a Grateful Dead show in Oakland, California and wrote an article about his experience that the term 420 really went mainstream. Boom was handed a homemade flier at the concert that talked about meeting up later for a smoke sesh. After falsely explaining that the term came about from police codes, the flier read, “We are going to meet at 4:20 on 4/20 for 420-ing in Marin County at the Bolinas Ridge sunset spot on Mt. Tamalpais….” After the article was published in the popular counter culture magazine, the stoner favorite number blew up across the globe and continues to be used today. Nearly everyone who smokes knows that April 20th (4/20) is a stoner holiday with festivals, conventions, gatherings, parties, and protests honoring the plant. And let’s not forget that 4:20 (am or pm) is officially the time to drop what you’re doing and pack a bowl.
Examples: What can be 420 friendly?
As mentioned earlier, the term 420 friendly is typically used for people or places that are tolerant of the plants use, but it can literally refer to anything, even a tour or activity where being high is encouraged. The term can have a wide range of meanings from an all-inclusive resort where you can smoke anywhere and legal dry herb is provided to an elevated yoga class where you should arrive baked, but shouldn’t smoke on the premises. Be sure to read all the details and fine print (preferably before you light up) prior to reserving any 420 friendly activity, tour, or accommodation so you have a clear picture of all the rules. Alternately, you may see some stoners use the term 710 friendly, which is reserved for those that prefer concentrates over legal dry herb. That means dabbing wax, crumble, shatter, or other extracts is fair game. These are just a few of the most common examples of people, places, and things that can be 420 friendly:
- Lodging and places- From cities and states to hotels, households, and cafes, places and accommodations are the most common things that are listed as being 420 friendly. One increasingly popular example is 420 apartments. This is because there are tons of smokers looking for a safe space to smoke with like minded people. No one wants to be harassed by a landlord or roommate for lighting up in their home! When it comes to other places besides accommodations, it’s easy to find a coffee shop to smoke in Amsterdam, but outside the “Venice of the North” there are very few cafes and restaurants that are 420 friendly.
- Car rentals - Hot box without worry in a 420 friendly car rental, which may or may not also allow tobacco use. Check Turo, Craigslist, or small local car rental companies. As always, never drive under the influence and be sure to transport your legal dry herb properly to remain within the law.
- Activities - In legal states, 420 tourism is on the rise and there are many different types of activities geared towards this specific group of tourists. Harvest tour for your bachelor party, elevated yoga on self care Saturday, guided “high-ke” to a waterfall, the options are endless. Some other common 420 friendly activities include blazed city tours, dispensary tours, elevated painting classes, bong glass blowing demonstrations, edibles cooking classes, farm tours, educational courses, and buzz and brew bar hops. Besides organized tours, 420 friendly events such as music festivals, cannabis competitions, and 420 conferences are also increasingly popular.
- People - It’s an amazing feeling when you finally find your tribe. 420 enthusiasts always seem to find a way to stick together. A few places to find other stoners include dating sites, Reddit, Facebook groups, Meet Up, and at 420 friendly events. An individual person and groups of people can both be considered 420 friendly. A really cool example are the Elevationists in Denver, Colorado. They’re a spiritual group from the International Church of Cannabis that believes legal dry herb enhances self-discovery and uses the plant as sacrament.