It’s the day that stoners have been looking forward to all year: April 20, or ‘4/20!’ Yet, if you’ve ever asked why ‘4:20’ is such important number for marijuana smokers, here’s the shocking origin of the pothead’s favorite number.
Guess what day it is! April 20, or “4/20!” Today is the Christmas of Cannabis, the Marijuana Mardi Grass and the Super Bowl of smoking weed. Stoners, potheads and weed enthusiasts everywhere are lighting up to party down. However, if you’ve ever wondered why “4/20” is such a big deal in cannabis culture, click to find out!
Now, the origin of “4:20” being tied to marijuana culture is as hazy as Snoop Dogg’s, 44, tour van during a three-day hip-hop festival in Colorado (one of the two states where recreational marijuana smoking is prohibited.) However, the most credible story, per Time magazine, can be traced all the way to Marin County, California. In 1971, five students attending San Rafael High School would meet by the campus’s statute of Louis Pasteur to smoke up. The time of their daily pot break? 4:20 P.M.
This group, who called themselves “the Waldos,” would use the term “420” as a code for marijuana, according to an article two of those students, David Reddix and Steve Capper, wrote for the Huffington Post. The term was passed along to The Grateful Dead‘s bassist Phil Lesh, 76, who helped spread the term across the land like a stoner Johnny Appleseed.
In Dec. 28, 1990, the band invited Deadheads to smoke “420” on April 20, 1991, at 4:20 P.M. One of these fans invited to the event was Steve Bloom, a former reporter for High Times magazine. The foremost-expert publication on all things marijuana, High Times published the flyer with the number and “4:20” reached a whole new generation.
A common marijuana misconception is that “420” is a police code for “marijuana smoking in progress.” However, no “420” police radio-codes deal with marijuana. There’s also a theory, per AlterNet, that the number comes from Bob Dylan’s song, “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35,” because 12 multiplied by 35 equals 420. (That’s the song with the repeating chorus “Everybody must get stoned.”)
April 20 also happens to be the birthday of some major celebs, like Star Trek’s George Takei, 79, Crispin Glover, 52, Andy Serkis, 52, Rule The Jewels rapper Killer Mike, 41, Joey Lawrence, 40, model Miranda Kerr, 33, and Carmen Electra, 44. So, while stoners light up to party today, hopefully they wish these stars a “Happy Birthday!”
Are you surprised by the origin of “4/20,” HollywoodLifers?