The origin and history of the term “420” are related to cannabis culture or marijuana use. The culture and subculture that has evolved around it are very much a mystery. Many known secondary sources suggest its origins within California-based circles as early as the 1970s.
Those who claim to understand how this “code word” originated, have wildly varying explanations. This includes being used as a police code for cocaine busts. Police officers were leaving work at 4:20 pm or some other reference to time; April 20 (4/20) was Adolf Hitler’s birthday; The number 420 was used as an alarm-clock setting by “pot” smokers. However, no one knows how or where it began, and most importantly, why!
The first reference for this term is dated 1991 according to Steven Hager who is the editor of the pot culture magazine “High Times.”
According to Ernest L. Abel, author of Marihuana: The First Twelve Thousand Years :
“There are several versions of the story [of the origin of 420] every stoner has heard at least one version, and many swear they were there when it happened.”
Abel also says that, as a result of the sheer popularity of this term, it is now almost universal. “Grass” was renamed to prevent it from being banned by the public and 420 was renamed for similar reasons.
So what is 420?
Colorado Springs was home to the first-ever Cannabis Cup in 1987! The dispensaries were one of (if not) the first establishments throughout the state’s legal history to provide medical marijuana. It currently hosts more than 60 licensed marijuana dispensaries throughout the state, with many more anticipated to open by 2016!
It should come as no surprise that dispensary workers were on pace to sell over 4 million units of smokable cannabis in 2015! With Colorado’s economy standing to gain $100 million+ in tax revenue. It has become the Mecca of Cannabis tourism!
Colorado has seen a dramatic reduction in crime rates, DUIs, and homelessness since legalizing medical marijuana in 2000. And Colorado was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana sales throughout its numerous dispensaries throughout Colorado!
Colorado dispensaries also offer various dispensary-related products designed to enhance your experienced flower, concentrates, and edibles; The state makes it easy for visitors seeking their 420 experiences!
Colorado is leading the way for this movement throughout dispensaries like Rocky Mountain High. There can be little doubt that our cannabis laws will continue to evolve nationwide. It’s only a matter of time before these archaic, wasteful prohibition laws become nothing more than a shameful footnote; much like alcohol prohibition! So smoke them if you got them while they’re legal
Colorado is blessed to be home to so many fantastic dispensaries and dispensary workers throughout the state. It makes sense that they, like The Stone, would have an entire day to commemorate this historical, and society-shifting event. On April 20, 2012, dispensaries across the state rang up over 6 million dollars worth of recreational marijuana sales!
According to the Huffington Post, the originator of 420 was a group of five California high school students. They called themselves “The Waldos.” They met each day at 4:20 pm after school because they didn’t have anything better to do. It was initially meant to signal that it was time to get stoned.
Colorado dispensaries are changing the way people see them throughout. The term “420” has caught on so well that it hardly matters who coined the phrase anymore.
High Times reported several rumored origin stories for 420. This includes being used as police code for when someone was arrested with bud signifying that it’s time to smoke because your bail is 420 dollars. If this version is authentic, it might be surprising to know that California has not had a 420 related incident since legalizing medical use in 1996.
Other origin stories say that 420 refers to the number of chemicals found in cannabis or that it has something to do with Hitler’s birthday. Colorado is the only origin story that dispensaries like Rocky Mountain High support as the state’s true history of this holiday.
Every dispensary worker throughout the state will be celebrating 420 in Colorado style! So gather your friends and favorite dispensaries today! Celebrate 420 throughout all 40+ licensed medical marijuana dispensary locations throughout Colorado !!!
The best way you can celebrate this stoner holiday is by heading down to your nearest dispensary. Grab yourself an eighth of top-shelf cannabis, or edibles if that’s more your style. Sit back, relax, and enjoy 4/20 with some friends! Just make sure not to wake up too late… there are only so many hours in the day!
Thank you for reading Cannabis Class: What Is 4:20? and have a most excellent day!
April 20 is International 4:20 Day. People around the globe celebrate this unofficial holiday by consuming cannabis, especially at 4:20 pm. This tradition originated in the 1970s when a group of teenagers in California met at 4:20 pm to search for an abandoned crop of marijuana. Over time, this number has become synonymous with smoking pot. Today, thousands of people celebrate this event every year (a few examples are here and here ). So how did this day get its name?
April 20 or 4/20 is often regarded as a particular number in the cannabis subculture. It has even become somewhat of an international holiday for pot smokers worldwide. But how did this number become so significant?
The term 420 was coined in the early 1970s after students from San Rafael High School in California. The story goes that these teenagers would regularly meet outside their school at 4:20 pm to search for an abandoned cannabis crop. Over time, it became known as “weed o’clock” or simply “4:20”.
The number is significant for obvious reasons. To start, there are approximately 420 active chemicals in cannabis (more if you count the 118 compounds found in hashish). There are also around 420 seconds in an hour and 42 minutes in a day, so if the number of seconds were counted, it would read 4:20. Even the number of letters in each word has significance! If you write 420 in text or numeric form, it spells “haitch,” a slang term for the letter “H.” Why wasn’t this number chosen at random? Well, thanks to some buried treasure from 1971, we know that it was not.
In 1971, a non-profit organization called the Children’s Foundation instituted the Marin County “County Fair” and designated 4:20 as their time to open on April 20 each year. The timing was fitting since it opened at 4:20 pm and invited locals to come out for some fun activities such as rides, games of chance, music, food, and, of course, some free samples. This “county fair” was an opportunity for the foundation to proselytize the children of Marin County on matters of drug awareness. The name became a code among teens for getting high at 4:20 pm.
Over time, this tradition dispersed into several different subcultures, including the Grateful Dead fans. In 1990, High Times published a story called “420”, which claimed that 420 was a police code for cannabis-smoking in progress. This wasn’t true (explanation here ), but it didn’t stop the publication of this article from spreading 4:20’s popularity even further.
Today, April 20, smoking cannabis in public is celebrated, particularly at 4:20 pm. Many people also celebrate April 20 with pot parties or gatherings known as “smoke outs” where participants get together to smoke marijuana. There are even rumors of a vast party somewhere in London on this day…
The tradition continues today, with thousands participating around the world. So if you ever happen to be around some fellow cannabis enthusiasts at 4:20 pm, now you know why it’s such a popular time for indulging!