Have you ever wondered why April 20th is weed’s holiday? Just like most of us, I’m sure you’ve heard several reasons. Some will tell you the legend of 4/20 used to be the police code for “smoking in progress”. Others will say it relates to the number of known cannabinoids. Some even give credit to Hitler’s birthday (yuck, don’t spread that one please). So how do we know which one is which? Well, you can thank some teenagers, like most ganja legends, the Grateful Dead.
According to the Huffington Post in 1990, one Steven Bloom, then a reporter of High Times, was handed a flyer in The Lot of a Dead show. This flyer came with the “the legend of 4/20”. According to that flyer, in San Rafael, California police were using the code “4-2-0” to alert other officers of kids smoking pot. While San Rafael was right, the police had nothing to do with it. Based on a High Times article in the, a group of 3 boys in 1971 called “The Waldos” living in San Rafael had heard of a pot patch growing somewhere near their area. In order to toke up and hunt for the treasure, these boys would meet up at 4:20pm. From then on, these kids used it as a code to their friends to talk about pot.
High Times and Dead Parties
The next part of the story involves one of the Waldo’s fathers managing Grateful Dead property in the area. Because of this connection, the Waldo boys were a part of the Dead community in a big way. They attended parties, shows, and were familiar with band members and entourage. Thus, the term 4/20 became a Dead gang slang term and the legend of 4/20 was born.
With “4/20” so predominant in the culture of cannabis, the Waldo boys decided to curb rumors about its origins in 1997. The Waldo’s claim no use of “4/20” can be dated before 1971 when the boys began using it.
So there it is, the legend of 420 revealed. With the Waldo’s in mind and Jerry Garcia playing in the background- how will you be celebrating this year? We recommend The Evergreen Market to stock up! Follow the link for more info: 420 Sales + Festivities!
Written by: Elan Gratrix
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