Where Did The Term 4-20 Originate?
It's just about that time of year again. 420, of course, is tomorrow and the cannabis users around the world celebrate this international counterculture holiday.
I've heard several different stories on the origin of the term "420". One of those theories was that that was the code police used for marijuana related offenses. The one I think has the most credibility is the one about the 5 high school students, who called themselves the Waldos, from San Rafael, California. They were Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffery Noel, Larry Schwartz and Mark Gravich.
Allegedly, in 1971 these 5 high school students used to meet outside their high school every day at 4:20 PM to search for a hidden cannabis crop, using a treasure map supplied by a grower. Well, they never found the "treasure" but the term stuck as the code for cannabis.
Steven Hager, a writer for High Times magazine (is that still in publication?) is credited with popularizing the Waldo's story and making the term 420 popular worldwide. High Times first ever mention of 420 as a reference to pot was in 1991 and the first reference to the Waldos was later in 1998.
According to Hager, he credits the spread of the 420 term to Grateful Dead followers after Waldo member Dave Reddiz became a roadie for the Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh and called for 4:20 in the afternoon to be an acceptable time to light one up.
Over the years the date 4/20 became a day to celebrate the cannabis plant and call for legalization. Unfortunately, Minnesota is not going to legalize cannabis anytime soon or until we get some politicians that actually do what their constituents ask them to do.
Anyway, have a Happy 4-20 and don't forget that 4/21 is National Drug Test Day! Ha!
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