The History of 4/20: How It All Began

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Unveiling the Origins of 4/20

Have you ever wondered about the origins of 4/20? That infamous date celebrated by cannabis enthusiasts around the world? Join me on a journey through time as we explore the intriguing history of 4/20 and uncover how it all began.

The Birth of a Legend

In the early 1970s, a group of five friends from San Rafael High School in California unintentionally set the stage for what would become the global phenomenon of 4/20. Known as the “Waldos,” these friends included Jeff, Dave, Steve, Larry, and Mark. It all started with a treasure map, or so the legend goes.

The Treasure Hunt that Sparked It All

The Waldos had learned about an abandoned cannabis crop somewhere in the Point Reyes Forest. The story goes that a Coast Guard service member had planted the crop but was unable to tend to it. Armed with a hand-drawn map, the Waldos decided to embark on a treasure hunt to find the hidden stash of marijuana.

Meet at 4:20

The twist in the tale? The Waldos had a specific meeting time for their treasure hunt – 4:20 PM. This time was chosen because it was convenient for their schedules – it was after their sports practices but before their parents returned home from work. So, they would meet at the Louis Pasteur statue on their school campus at 4:20 PM to begin their adventure.

The Code Word: 420

To keep their plan discreet, the Waldos used the code word “420” when referring to their cannabis-related activities. It was a simple way to talk about their plans without arousing suspicion. Over time, this secret code evolved into a symbol of camaraderie among cannabis enthusiasts.

The Spread of 420 Culture

The term “420” began to spread beyond the Waldos’ circle, thanks to a fortunate series of events. One of the Waldos had a brother who was a close friend of Phil Lesh, the bassist of the Grateful Dead – a band that was, and still is, closely associated with cannabis culture. The connection between the Waldos and the Grateful Dead helped popularize the term.

High Times Magazine

In 1991, High Times magazine caught wind of the term “420” and began using it to reference cannabis culture and the act of smoking marijuana. This magazine was instrumental in bringing the term into the mainstream.

420 as a Global Phenomenon

As the internet age dawned, the popularity of 420 continued to grow. Online communities, forums, and social media platforms adopted the term, turning it into a global symbol of cannabis culture. Every year on April 20th (4/20), people from all walks of life come together to celebrate and advocate for the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis.

The Modern Significance of 4/20

Today, 4/20 is more than just a date on the calendar. It represents a movement, a culture, and a celebration of cannabis. It’s a day when people gather to raise awareness about the medicinal and recreational benefits of cannabis, as well as the need for sensible drug policies.

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