420 is something of a holiday for marijuana consumers. The quantity has expanded to encompass all things those in the marijuana community hold dear. Plus it all started 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 the marijuana-consuming community.
4:20 p.m. is considered an optimal time to illuminate for smokers, and spaces where you could smoke marijuana tend to be labelled 420 Tours. The word was even put into the Oxford English Dictionary, employed to refer to the “act of smoking marijuana.” Suffice to state, the amount 420 holds a special devote marijuana smokers’ hearts. But where did this all result from? How did 420 become an international phenomenon?
The story begins in California in early 1970s when a team of senior high school students – called “The Waldos” to get a wall they might all spend time 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 story of how an inside joke among a couple of 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 buddy told him that his brother, a Coast Guard officer, was growing marijuana. The friend said that his brother was scared of getting caught by his commanding officer, so he abandoned the stash in the forest through 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, and that 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, you can celebrate 420 legally. “We fired up a doobie, got high, so we hopped in Steve’s ’66 Impala, so we smoked entirely out there,” Reddix said. “It looked just like a scene from the Cheech and Chong movie, we’d have the whole car clouded up,” Capper said. “We were talking and grooving.”
The Waldos would meet up at 4:20 p.m. every day to carry on the search, though they admit – more than forty years later – which they never found the mythical stash. The 4:20 p.m. meet-up time stuck, however, and became the group’s slang term for smoking marijuana. “We’d remind each other inside the hallways that people were likely 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 say that to each other,” Reddix said. As their number of friends got larger, more people within their social circle adopted the term for their own marijuana-smoking activities. Years mqjtnj, they’d see “420” carved into park benches and spray-painted on bridges, Capper said.
However it wasn’t until Reddix’s brother introduced the phrase to his friend Phil Lesh, who happened to be the bass player in the Grateful Dead, that the term really took off. “What started off as being a little private code, secret joke, converted into a worldwide phenomenon,” Reddix said.
Lesh confirmed as much towards the Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim in 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 may have actual physical proof that “The Waldos” coined the word.
“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 coming from a San Rafael Secondary School newspaper from 1974. One of “The Waldos,” when asked an issue about his best advice for the graduating class, simply responded “420.” And now, in 2018, it’s not just a holiday for smokers, but a tremendous marketing chance for legal marijuana brands like MedMen and Eaze.