How Did 4/20 become ‘Weed Day’?

home grown pot in the nation's capital

Source: Local 4 News
Posted By: Tyler Beltz (Metro Rise Host)

You’ve probably already noticed all of the posts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook talking about blazing and lighting up that nice joint. But, there’s a good chance you probably don’t know the history on how April 20th became ‘Weed Day’.

Some claim the number is drawn from the California criminal codes used to punish the use or distribution of marijuana, but the states’ 420 code only applies to obstructing entry on public land. So, that theory is FALSE.

Additionally, the Los Angeles Police Department and the New York PD have never used the code 420 to refer to marijuana usage. San Francisco police have used the numerical code before but it pertains to “juvenile disturbance.”

Well, we all know singer Bob Dylan enjoys smoking a doobie but does his song lyrics have anything to do with this unofficial holiday? Dylan’s song “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” and its lyric, “Everybody must get stoned.” And if you multiply 12 by 35 you get 420.

Chris Conrad, curator of the Oaksterdam Cannabis Museum in Oakland, California, 420 started as a secret code among high schoolers in the early 1970s. A group of friends at San Rafael High School in Marin County, California, called themselves “the Waldos,” would often meet at 4:20 p.m. to get high. It was just an ideal time for them to link-up after school, and it gave them a chance of unsupervised freedom. They met at that time every day near a statue of Louis Pasteur, the scientist who pioneered pasteurization.

The 4:20 time became a code for them to use in front of their unsuspecting parents, and 420 gradually spread from there — possibly via Grateful Dead followers — across California and beyond. It’s even the number of a California Senate bill that established the state’s medial marijuana program.

Now that you have some background knowledge on this day, go ahead and role one for the two of us. If you’re wondering, I prefer mine to be in the form of a Cigarello.

WEED 3.jpg


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