The Meaning of '420' in Cannabis Culture

Posted by reanice team on

Even if you don't use any cannabis products yourself, chances are you know the term "420" in Cannabis Culture.

Marijuana Appreciation Day

Whether expressed as a time of day (4:20), a calendar date (4/20), or a numeral, 420 (that's four-twenty, not four hundred and twenty) is slang for the use and enjoyment of marijuana. In certain weed-friendly cities like Boulder, Colorado, April 20 has come to be known as "Marijuana Appreciation Day" or "Weed Day." The term 420 is also a rallying cry for the marijuana legalization movement, which has gained momentum as states like Colorado, Washington, and California have decriminalized pot.

The Origins of 420

Various urban legends have grown up around the meaning of 420 and its connection to marijuana, but the true story behind it is surprisingly prosaic. In the early 1970s, a small group of hippie stoners at San Rafael High School in California used to meet at a designated location every day at 4:20 p.m. to smoke weed.

They did this so regularly that members of the group—who called themselves the Waldos—began using the expression "420" as a euphemism for toking. The catchphrase spread beyond their immediate circle, beyond the high school they attended, and ultimately beyond California. Within a decade or two, pot smokers across the country were using it.


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