When it comes to cannabis, one time in particular has captured the imagination of consumers around the world: 4:20 in the afternoon. But how did this tradition come about and why has it become a symbol of cannabis culture?
In this article, Guys420.com will show us the origin of 420, debunking myths and uncovering truths about this global phenomenon.
Unraveling the origins of 420
Over the years, various theories have been proposed as to the origin of the term “420”. Some of them are more plausible than others, but most have been widely discredited.
Below, we look at some of the myths and truths surrounding this peculiar phenomenon:
The Waldos: the true creators of 420
According to research conducted by media outlets such as the Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times and High Times, the 420 tradition began with a group of teenagers nicknamed the Waldos, who grew up in Marin County, California. This group used to gather by a wall near San Rafael High School, hence their nickname.
Members of the Waldos, such as Mark Gravitch, Dave Reddix and Steve Capper, initially kept their identities secret to protect their lives and future careers. Over time, however, these young men have openly accepted their role in cannabis history.
Searching for the lost plantation
The reason the Waldos chose the number 420 is because they used to meet at 4:20 p.m. to search for a lost cannabis plantation near the Point Reyes Coast Guard Station.
Although they never found the mythical source of free marijuana, the group coined the term “420” as code for cannabis without their parents and teachers knowing about it.
The Grateful Dead’s role in the popularization of 420
It is likely that the term 420 would have fallen into obscurity were it not for Waldo Dave’s older brother, who was a friend of Phil Lesh, bassist for the Grateful Dead. Adopting the term 420, Lesh and the Grateful Dead spent the next 35 years touring the world, smoking cannabis and passively popularizing the connection between the number 420 and cannabis use.
420 in popular culture
Over time, the number 420 has found its way into popular culture in a variety of ways, establishing itself as a symbol of cannabis use.
Let’s look at some examples of how 420 has made its mark in the world of entertainment and politics:
Pulp Fiction and the clocks striking 4:20
In Quentin Tarantino’s iconic film, all the clocks are synchronized to always show 4:20. Although no explicit mention is made of cannabis in the film, this detail is a nod to the subculture surrounding 420.
Cannabis Legislation and Bill 420
In California, a bill to legalize medical marijuana carried the name “Bill 420”. This name was not chosen at random, but was in recognition of the role that 420 has played in the history of cannabis.
The theft of mile markers 420
In Denver, Colorado, the sign marking mile marker 420 on Interstate 70 has been stolen so many times that authorities decided to replace it with a less conventional sign marking mile marker 419.99. This fact demonstrates the power of the 420 myth and how it has become a symbol of cannabis culture.
420 in the Internet age
The popularity of 420 has grown even more with the advent of the Internet and social media, which has allowed cannabis enthusiasts around the world to connect and share their 420-related experiences. Here are some of the ways 420 has made its mark in the digital world.
Events and meetings around 420
Today, 420 events and gatherings are commonplace, both indoors and outdoors. These gatherings attract people of all ages and backgrounds, who come together to celebrate their love of cannabis and their appreciation for the 420 tradition.
Roommate ads “420 friends” on Craigslist
On classified ad websites like Craigslist, it’s common to find roommate listings that describe themselves as “420 friends.” This indicates that they are open to living with people who use cannabis and is often a way to make a connection with other 420 enthusiasts.
April 20 events in cities around the world
April 20, also known as 4/20, has become something of an unofficial holiday for the cannabis consumer community. In cities such as Denver, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, planned and promoted events are held to celebrate this special occasion.
According to Guys420, the 420 phenomenon is a perfect example of how a simple idea can become a global and unifying symbol for a particular subculture. Despite its humble origins in a group of teenagers in search of a lost cannabis plantation, 420 has become a symbol of the cannabis legalization movement and a celebration of freedom of expression and creativity.
Over time, 420 will likely continue to evolve and find new ways to infiltrate popular culture. What will not change, however, is its connection to the cannabis-using community and its role as a reminder of the importance of friendship, adventure and the pursuit of the unknown.