420 is something of a holiday for marijuana consumers. The amount has expanded to encompass all things that those in the marijuana community hold dear. And it also all started as being an inside joke among a group of Northern California senior high school students in the early 1970s.
April 20, or 4/20, is a significant day for that marijuana-consuming community.
4:20 p.m. is regarded as an optimal time for you to illuminate for smokers, and spaces where you could smoke marijuana are frequently labelled 420 Friendly Hotels. The word was even included in the Oxford English Dictionary, used to refer to the “act of smoking marijuana.” Suffice to state, the number 420 holds a unique place in marijuana smokers’ hearts. But where did this come from? How did 420 become a global phenomenon?
The history begins in California in early 1970s when a group of high school students – referred to as “The Waldos” for any wall they could all hang out on after school – received some excellent news. A couple of “The Waldos,” Steve Capper and Dave Reddix, stopped by “The Criminals” podcast earlier this month to inform the history of how an inside joke among several San Rafael high school students went worldwide.
“I was sittin’ on our hangout spot – the wall – at San Rafael High School,” Capper told host Phoebe Judge. Capper says a friend told him that his brother, a Coast Guard officer, was growing marijuana. The friend stated that his brother was fearful of getting caught by his commanding officer, so he abandoned the stash in the forest from the Point Reyes Coast Guard Station. Capper’s friend drew him a map, that he taken to the remainder of the Waldos. “We were teenage boys, which was free weed,” Reddix remembers. “Are you kidding?”
Reddix says the boys made a decision to meet by way of a statue of Louis Pasteur on their own senior high school campus at 4:20 p.m. to start out searching for the marijuana.
In 2018, you can celebrate 420 legally. “We fired up a doobie, got high, so we hopped in Steve’s ’66 Impala, and we smoked all the way out there,” Reddix said. “It looked such as a scene coming from a Cheech and Chong movie, we’d obtain the whole car clouded up,” Capper said. “We were talking and grooving.”
The Waldos would meet up at 4:20 p.m. each day to continue the search, though they admit – more than 40 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 each other in the hallways that we 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 inside their social circle adopted the word for their own marijuana-smoking activities. Years mqjtnj, they’d see “420” carved into park benches and spray-painted on bridges, Capper said.
But it wasn’t until Reddix’s brother introduced the word to his friend Phil Lesh, who happened to be the bass player of the Grateful Dead, that the term really took off. “What began being a little private code, secret joke, converted into a worldwide 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” come up with term. Capper and Reddix say they have actual physical proof that “The Waldos” coined the term.
“We keep your 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 actually a clipping from the San Rafael High School newspaper from 1974. One of “The Waldos,” when asked a question about his best advice for your graduating class, simply responded “420.” And now, in 2018, it’s not only a holiday for smokers, but a massive marketing chance for legal marijuana brands like MedMen and Eaze.