For many years, the 20th of April has been celebrated by cannabis enthusiasts around the world, but how did this holiday come to be? In this post, we’ll dive into the history and origins of 420 to better understand its significance.
How did 420 come to be?
There are many myths and legends surrounding the origins of 420, but the most widely accepted story involves a group of high school students from San Rafael, California.
In the early 1970s, a group of students known as “The Waldos” used to meet at 4:20 PM. One of them found a map that legend had it led to a secret stash of weed. For weeks they hunted in an attempt to find a secret cannabis crop, meeting each day after practice near the Louis Pasteur statue at their San Rafael high school. According to one of the members, Steve Capper, “We used to remind each other in the hallways that we were supposed to meet up at 4:20 pm. It originally started out 4:20-Louis, and we eventually dropped the Louis.”
The term “420” became a code word for smoking cannabis, and the students would use it as a shorthand when discussing their plans to smoke. It eventually caught on among their friends and, over time, spread throughout the cannabis community.
It wasn’t until the early 1990s that 420 became more widely known. In 1990, a group of Grateful Dead fans in Oakland, California, passed out flyers inviting people to smoke “420” on April 20th at 4:20 pm. The flyers were widely distributed, and the event became known as “420 Day.”
Enter the Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead were one of the biggest bands of the 1960s and 70s, and their music was often associated with cannabis culture. The band's fans, known as "Deadheads," were known for their love of cannabis and often smoked at Grateful Dead concerts.
In the early 1970s, one of The Waldos' older brothers befriended Phil Lesh, the bassist for the Grateful Dead. Lesh offered to let The Waldos use the band's rehearsal space in San Rafael, which happened to be located next to a Coast Guard base. The Coast Guard members would often leave behind bags of cannabis, which The Waldos would then find and smoke.
The Waldos' connection to the Grateful Dead would prove to be instrumental in spreading the term "420." One of The Waldos' friends, Dave Reddix, was a roadie for the Grateful Dead, and he would often use the term around the band. Eventually, the term caught on among the Deadheads, and it began to spread beyond the Grateful Dead community.
The Birth of 420 Day
It wasn't until the early 1990s that 420 became associated with April 20th. In 1990, a group of Deadheads in Oakland, California, passed out flyers inviting people to smoke "420" on April 20th at 4:20 pm. The flyers were meant to be a joke, but they caught on, and the event became known as "420 Day."
The connection between The Waldos and the Grateful Dead helped to solidify the association between 420 and cannabis culture.
Today, 420 has become a global holiday celebrated by cannabis enthusiasts around the world. It’s a day to come together, smoke weed, and celebrate cannabis culture. Many dispensaries and cannabis brands offer special deals and promotions on 420, and festivals and events are often held in major cities, including Washington DC.
But 420 is more than just a holiday for stoners. It’s also become a symbol of the fight for cannabis legalization and reform. In recent years, 420 has been used as a day of action, with activists and advocates using the day to call attention to the need for cannabis policy reform. Many organizations use 420 to organize rallies, protests, and educational events to raise awareness about cannabis and its potential benefits.
The Future of 420
As cannabis legalization continues to spread around the world, it’s likely that 420 will continue to grow in popularity. More and more people are discovering the benefits of cannabis, and as the stigma surrounding it continues to fade, it’s becoming more widely accepted.
But as 420 becomes more mainstream, it’s important to remember its roots. The holiday has always been about celebrating cannabis culture and the community that surrounds it. It’s about coming together, sharing stories, and enjoying the benefits of this incredible plant.
At the end of the day, 420 is a cultural holiday that has become synonymous with cannabis culture. While its origins may be shrouded in myth and legend, the most widely accepted story involves a group of high school students from San Rafael, California. Today, 420 is celebrated by cannabis enthusiasts around the world, and it has become a symbol of the fight for cannabis legalization and reform.
So whether you’re a long-time cannabis user or a newbie, take some time on April 20th to celebrate this amazing plant and the community that surrounds it. Don’t forget to check back soon— we’ll be announcing our 4/20 weed delivery deals very soon. In the meantime, you can always stock up for your 420 celebrations. You can count on Flower Ave to bring you the best weed delivery in DC.