The expression 420 figure to the marijuana sector and its consumers since the 1970s in the United States
420. There are many theories and, since the concept was coined in the last century, the origin dissipates like smoke. The only certainty is that 4/20 is a terminology internationally associated with cannabis.
International Marijuana Day is celebrated on April 20 (4/20). But this does not explain the origin of the term. However, among the different theories, the one that has gained the most strength is in the last century, specifically in the year 1971.
A group of teenagers from San Rafael High School, north of San Francisco (California), known as “The Waldos”, met daily after school, specifically at 4.20, to smoke weed. And why did they meet at this time? Classes ended at 3:00, and both after-school activities and punishments ended at 4.20. Since it was a strictly prohibited drug, although widely consumed, the Waldos began to use this code to refer to the fact of smoking marijuana discreetly.
That fall, the five boys who made up the gang, found by chance a handwritten map that marked the location of a clandestine marijuana crop.
Those friends were dedicated with the enthusiasm of youth, to seek the legendary cultivation. But they never found it.
Waldo Dave, leader of the group and who is currently a 60-year-old independent film director, says that they spent all day smoking weed and that, although they never found the legendary crop, the real fun was the mere fact of looking for it.
The Waldos were known as the 4/20 and with the passage of time, their friends and acquaintances began to use this code to refer discreetly to marijuana. Among that group of friends was the legendary rock band Grateful Dead. In fact, this group internalized the concept so much, that in all their tours they tried to stay in room 420 of each hotel where they stayed overnight.
With the appropriation of the term by the Grateful Dead, its use by cannabis users spread at great speed. The numerous fans of the Grateful Dead called themselves the Deadheads and being so many, the term passed from the United States to Europe with great rapidity.
Already in 1990, the editor of High Times, Steve Bloom, found everything referred to in some notes of the rock group and dedicated the number 420 of the prestigious magazine to make it known to the rest of the world. In fact, the editorial meetings of the magazine began to be held at 4.20 in the afternoon in homage to the term.
The Waldos showed the magazine all the evidence and evidence that they had gathered over the years and that they were the origin of the term.
Steve Bloom says that this terminology has become a benchmark that cannabis lovers see anywhere, as, for example, in the scenes of Pulp Fiction in the hour shown on a clock. Precisely Quentin Tarantino, belonging to the generation of the Waldos, is a great defender and user of cannabis.
Of course, the cultural impact of the term has been spectacular. On Interstate 70 in Colorado, the 420 mile mark has been stolen so often that, in the end, it had to be replaced by another 419.99 miles.
It is already a cult object among cannabis lovers. There is a magazine called that and the international cannabis day is April 20.