420 is something of a holiday for marijuana consumers. The number has expanded to encompass all things that those in the marijuana community hold dear. And it all started as an inside joke among a group of Northern California senior high school students during the early 1970s.
April 20, or 4/20, is a significant day for the marijuana-consuming community.
4:20 p.m. is considered an optimal time to light up for smokers, and spaces where one can smoke marijuana are often labelled 420 Friendly Hotels. The phrase was even put into the Oxford English Dictionary, utilized to reference the “act of smoking marijuana.” Suffice to express, the amount 420 holds a special place in marijuana smokers’ hearts. But where did this result from? How did 420 become an international phenomenon?
The tale begins in California in the early 1970s when a group of senior high school students – known as “The Waldos” for any wall they would all hang out on after school – received some excellent news. 2 of “The Waldos,” Steve Capper and Dave Reddix, stopped by “The Criminals” podcast earlier this month to tell the tale of how an inside joke among a few San Rafael secondary school students went worldwide.
“I was sittin’ on our hangout spot – the wall – at San Rafael Secondary School,” Capper told host Phoebe Judge. Capper says a pal told him that his brother, a Coast Guard officer, was growing marijuana. The friend said that his brother was fearful of getting caught by his commanding officer, so he abandoned the stash in the forest by the Point Reyes Coast Guard Station. Capper’s friend drew him a roadmap, that he delivered to the remainder of the Waldos. “We were teenage boys, which was free weed,” Reddix remembers. “Are you kidding?”
Reddix says the boys decided to meet by way of a statue of Louis Pasteur on the high school campus at 4:20 p.m. to begin searching for the marijuana.
In 2018, it is possible to celebrate 420 legally. “We fired up a doobie, got high, and that we hopped in Steve’s ’66 Impala, so we smoked completely on the market,” Reddix said. “It looked such as a scene from the Cheech and Chong movie, we’d get the whole car clouded up,” Capper said. “We were talking and grooving.”
The Waldos would meet up at 4:20 p.m. every single day to carry on the search, though they admit – greater than forty years later – that they never found the mythical stash. The 4:20 p.m. meet-up time stuck, however, and have become the group’s slang term for smoking marijuana. “We’d remind the other person within the hallways that people were going to meet at Louis at 4:20,” Capper said. And “420 Louis” quickly became just “420.”
“It was type of a knowing smile, when we’d state that to each other,” Reddix said. As their selection of friends got larger, more and more people in their social circle adopted the word for his or her own marijuana-smoking activities. Years mqjtnj, they’d see “420” carved into park benches and spray-painted on bridges, Capper said.
Nevertheless it wasn’t until Reddix’s brother introduced the term to his friend Phil Lesh, who happened to become the bass player from the Grateful Dead, that this term really took off. “What started off as being a little private code, secret joke, transformed into an international phenomenon,” Reddix said.
Lesh confirmed as much for the Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim during 2009. Lesh said he was friends with Dave Reddix’s brother Patrick, and said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if “The Waldos” came up with term. Capper and Reddix say they have got actual physical proof that “The Waldos” coined the phrase.
“We maintain the evidence locked in a vault in San Francisco,” Capper said. “This is historical stuff.” The evidence, in accordance with “The Criminals” host Phoebe Judge, is really a clipping from the San Rafael Secondary School newspaper from 1974. Certainly one of “The Waldos,” when asked a matter about his best advice for the graduating class, simply responded “420.” Now, in 2018, it’s not only a holiday for smokers, but a massive marketing chance for legal marijuana brands like MedMen and Eaze.