Why 4:20 is Associated with Cannabis – Living Soils

Why 4:20 is Associated with Cannabis

Cannabis smokers and non-smokers alike recognise April 20 or 4:20 as a national holiday for cannabis culture, but few actually know how the date got chosen.

Some say “420” is code among police officers for “marijuana smoking in progress.” Some note 4/20 is also Adolf Hitler’s birthday. And some go as far as to cite Bob Dylan’s song “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” because 12 multiplied by 35 equals 420. 

But we feel the most credible story traces 4:20 to Marin County, California: 

In 1971, five students at San Rafael High School would meet at 4:20 p.m. by the campus’ statue of chemist Louis Pasteur to partake. This group became known as the “Waldos” because they met at a wall. They would say “420” to each other as code for marijuana. So did friends and acquaintances, who included - at a couple of steps removed - members of the Grateful Dead rock band. The term spread among the band's fans, known as Deadheads.

Then in 1990 Steve Bloom, an editor at High Times Magazine, saw 420 explained on a Grateful Dead concert flyer. Staff on the magazine, long the leading publication on marijuana, started using it. (They held ideas meetings at 4.20pm - pot-fuelled, of course.)

Twenty years later another publication, 420 Magazine, reported a claim by a rival group of San Rafael old boys that they had invented the term. But the Waldos, who have shown letters and other items to High Times, vigorously defend their version. "We're the only ones with evidence," says Steve Capper, or Waldo Steve.

Bloom says the term has served as a sort of semi-private code, and cannabis smokers tend to spot it everywhere - building numbers, prices, even clocks in the film Pulp Fiction. After the 420-mile marker on the Interstate-70 highway in Colorado was repeatedly pinched, officials recently replaced it with a 419.99-mile sign.

Mile 419.99 sign

To mark this special day we are offering a 20% discount across all of our 900g product range from today until the end of April: simply use the discount code below when ordering:

20for420

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