Where Did 420 Originally Come From?

Ahoy, all you cannabis connoisseurs out there! Let’s talk about the sacred number 420 and the origins of this cryptic code that has become a part of our cultural identity. Please take a seat and prepare to be blown away because this is the tale of the Waldos and their quest for the ultimate high.

Now, listen up; you lost souls wandering in ignorance. 420 is a code word that signifies the consumption of marijuana. It’s the time to light up and dive into a world of euphoria, whether you’re using bongs, smoking joints, or munching on edibles. It’s the ultimate symbol of our beloved herb, and it’s been an essential part of our lifestyle for decades.

But where did this term come from, you ask? There are plenty of theories, but the most widely accepted story goes like this.

The Waldos

Once upon a time, in the early 70s, in the mystical land of San Rafael, California, a group of high school students called themselves “The Waldos.” They were young, wild, and free and shared a love for weed. The Waldos would often meet up after school to smoke, chill, and contemplate the mysteries of the universe.

One day, they heard about a secret patch of marijuana plants near the Point Reyes Peninsula Coast Guard station. The Waldos, being the adventurous stoners they were, decided to find this legendary stash. And so, they set out on a quest, armed with a dream and code.

420 Louie

They used “420 Louie” as a code for smoking weed to keep their search secret. The number “420” referred to the time of day they planned to meet up – 4:20 p.m. They left notes with the number 420 around the school to remind each other of their smoking sessions.

Alas, the Waldos never found the fabled patch of green. But they did discover something more valuable – a code that would become a part of their daily language and eventually spread to other parts of California. The term “420” became synonymous with smoking weed and quickly caught on with the cannabis community.

Over time, “420” grew in popularity and became part of cannabis culture worldwide. The term is now a well-known code word for smoking weed, and April 20th is a day of celebration for cannabis enthusiasts all around the globe.

So, there you have it, my dear friends. The story of the Waldos and the origins of 420 is a magical journey through the early days of cannabis culture. It’s a tale of friendship, adventure, and pursuing the ultimate high. And now, every time you light up, you can remember the legacy of the Waldos and the magical number that has become a part of our shared vocabulary.

The Grateful Dead Theory

Another popular theory is that 420 was popularized by the Grateful Dead, a famous rock band known for their love of cannabis. The band’s fans, known as Deadheads, often used 420 to refer to smoking weed before and during the concert.

It’s a fun and joyful story that involves High Times magazine, the Grateful Dead community, and one dedicated journalist. So, grab your favorite marijuana bongs, light up, and let’s dive in!

In the 1990s, the term “420” became more widely known through High Times magazine and the Grateful Dead community. Journalist Steve Bloom played a crucial role in popularizing the term. Let’s dive deeper into this groovy story.

  • High Times and the Grateful Dead

High Times magazine was founded in 1974 and quickly became a significant source of information and culture for marijuana enthusiasts. The magazine covered everything from drug laws and medical research to the best marijuana bongs and strains. In the 1980s, the magazine’s popularity exploded, becoming a powerful force in the cannabis community.

Meanwhile, the Grateful Dead had been using the term “420” for years, thanks to the Waldos and their connection to the band. The Dead’s fans, known as Deadheads, picked up on the term and started using it themselves.

The band’s fans, known as Deadheads, were known for their love of cannabis and embraced the term as part of their culture. Here are a few ways the Grateful Dead community helped to spread the word:

  • The band’s song “Truckin'” includes the line “what a long, strange trip it’s been,” which became a famous saying among Deadheads. The line also references 420, with the lyric “Busted, down on Bourbon Street, set up, like a bowlin’ pin. Knocked down, it gets to wearin’ thin. They just won’t let you be, oh no.”
  • The band’s sound engineer, Owsley Stanley, was also a well-known cannabis enthusiast and helped to popularize the term 420. He even created a strain of cannabis called “Barely Legal” named after a Deadhead saying that included the term.
  • The Grateful Dead community also embraced the term by organizing 420-friendly events and activities. For example, every year on April 20th, Deadheads gather in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park to celebrate the day with music, food, and, of course, cannabis.
  • Enter Steve Bloom

In the early 1990s, journalist Steve Bloom became the managing editor of High Times. Bloom had been a fan of the Grateful Dead since the 1970s and was familiar with the term “420” and its connection to marijuana culture.

Bloom saw an opportunity to spread the word about “420” beyond the Grateful Dead community. He started incorporating the term into the magazine’s pages and encouraged other writers and editors to do the same. Soon, “420” appeared in High Times regularly, gaining more widespread recognition.

  • The High Times Cannabis Cup

In 1995, High Times launched the first annual Cannabis Cup, a competition to determine the best marijuana strains, edibles, and marijuana bongs. The event was held in Amsterdam, where marijuana laws were more relaxed than in the United States. The Cannabis Cup quickly became a major event in the cannabis community, and it helped to popularize the term “420”.

  • The Spread of “420”

As “420” became more well-known, it started appearing in other places beyond High Times and the Grateful Dead community. The term was used in movies and TV shows, and it even made its way into popular music. Cypress Hill, a hip-hop group known for their love of marijuana, released a song called “Hits from the Bong” in 1993 with the lyrics, “Pick it, pack it, fire it up, come along, and take a hit from the bong.”

Let’s talk about how 420 is celebrated in pop culture and beyond fun and joyfully!

Pop Culture References to 420

  • In “Pulp Fiction,” Mia overdoses at 4:20, which makes for an interesting coincidence.
  • Bob Dylan’s song “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” repeats the line “everybody must get stoned,” and 12 multiplied by 35 equals 420.
  • In “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” the spaceship Heart of Gold’s code number is 42, which, multiplied by 10, becomes 420.
  • In “Friends,” apartment 19 features a decorative plate that reads “420,” a fun little Easter egg for show fans.

Celebrations of 420

  • Every year on April 20th, cannabis enthusiasts across the globe celebrate the infamous 420.
  • People celebrate with various events, like the High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam and the Cannabis Cup in Denver.
  • The high school students who originally popularized the term, the Waldos, continue celebrating the day with a toke at 4:20 pm.
  • Some cities hold public events, like 420 festivals and parades, to commemorate the day.

All in all, 420 has become a symbol of fun and celebration for those who love cannabis. With plenty of pop culture references and events to choose from, there’s always something to enjoy on April 20th. So grab your marijuana bongs and make this 420 one to remember!

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Harriett S. Miller

Meet Harriett S. Miller, the guy who never met a CBD strain he didn't like! He's been researching and experimenting with CBD for years, and it's safe to say he's a bit of an enthusiast. When he's not busy trying out new strains, you can find him scoping out the latest cannabis accessories and gadgets. Harriett is dedicated to spreading the word about the benefits of CBD and helping people discover the perfect products to enhance their cannabis experience. He may be serious about his research, but he's always up for a good laugh (or a good puff).

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