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Origin of ‘4/20’

No Lies Radio – By Teri Perticone – April 19, 2015
boulder-cloud_1620689i
Photo: The Mile High City Celebrates Legal Marijuana: 4/20 Events in Denver on April 16, 2014.

1971 in San Rafael, California (Marin County) across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco is where the term 4:20 originated.

420 (cannabis culture)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

420, 4:20, or 4/20 (pronounced four-twenty) is a code-term that refers to the consumption of cannabis and by extension, as a way to identify oneself with cannabis subculture or simply cannabis itself. Observances based on the number 420 include smoking cannabis around the time 4:20 p.m (16:20) on any given day, as well as smoking and celebrating cannabis on the date April 20th (4/20 in U.S. form).[1]

Origins

A group of people in San Rafael, California,[2][3] calling themselves the Waldos[4] because “their chosen hang-out spot was a wall outside the school”,[5] used the term in connection with a fall 1971 plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop that they had learned about.[4][6] The Waldos designated the Louis Pasteur statue on the grounds of San Rafael High School as their meeting place, and 4:20 p.m. as their meeting time.[5] The Waldos referred to this plan with the phrase “4:20 Louis”. Multiple failed attempts to find the crop eventually shortened their phrase to simply “4:20”, which ultimately evolved into a codeword that the teens used to mean marijuana-smoking in general.[6] Mike Edison says that Steven Hager of High Times was responsible for taking the story about the Waldos to “mind-boggling, cult like extremes” and “suppressing” all other stories about the origin of the term.[7]

Hager wrote “Stoner Smart or Stoner Stupid?” in which he called for 4:20 p.m. to be the socially accepted hour of the day to consume cannabis.[8] He attributes the early spread of the phrase to Grateful Dead followers, who were also linked to the city of San Rafael.[8]

640px-420Louis
Photo: Digital photograph of Louis Pasteur statue, San Rafael High School, Marin County, California

April 20 observances

April 20th has become a counterculture holiday in North America, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis.[9][1][10] Some events have a political nature to them, advocating for the legalization of cannabis. North American observances have been held at Hippie Hill in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park near the Haight-Ashbury district,[11] the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus,[3][12][13] Ottawa, Ontario, at Parliament Hill and Major’s Hill Park,[14][15] Montréal, Québec at Mount Royal monument,[16][17] Edmonton, Alberta at the Alberta Legislature Building,[18] as well as Vancouver, British Columbia at the Vancouver Art Gallery.[19] The growing size of the unofficial event at UC Santa Cruz caused the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs to send an e-mail to parents in 2009 stating: “The growth in scale of this activity has become a concern for both the university and surrounding community.”[20]

Events have also occurred in Auckland, New Zealand at the Daktory[21][unreliable source?] and Dunedin, New Zealand, at University of Otago.[22][23][24][25][26][27]

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