Cannabis consumers all around the world use the term 420 to reference cannabis and celebrate 4:20 every day, and on April 20th we all celebrate the holiday, but have you ever wondered how 4/20 became the cannabis holiday and why 420 is the codeword for cannabis? There are many rumors about how 420 came to be and why cannabis consumers celebrate this special day but what exactly made this day and time become the celebration of cannabis?
According to a Times Magazine article, the acknowledged inventors of 420 are the “Waldos”. Now you’re probably wondering who or what are the Waldos and why they are considered the inventors of 420. The Waldos are a group of 5 guys who, in 1971, would meet up at 4:20 to consume cannabis. This group was high school students and claimed to meet up at this specific time because extracurricular activities were done by this time. The students would conjugate by a statue on campus to partake in the consumption of cannabis. The Waldos would also use the term 420 as a code for cannabis when talking with each other. But how did a group of 5 high school students create a worldwide term and holiday for cannabis?
Years after the Waldos had graduated from high school, one of the members became a roadie for Grateful Dead and the band is said to have helped popularize 420. As many of us know, the fans of the Grateful Dead are called Deadheads. On December 28, 1990, a group of Deadheads handed out flyers in Oakland, CA that invited people to smoke 420 on 4/20 at 4:20 pm. One of these flyers ended up in the hands of a reporter for High Times Magazine which then printed the flyer in 1991 and High Times started using the term 420 to refer to cannabis. In 1998 High Times acknowledged the Waldos as the inventors of 420.
Thanks to the help from the Grateful Dead and High Times Magazine, over 50 years after the Waldos started their smoke sesh’s, cannabis consumers all around the world celebrate 4/20 and recognize 420 as a term for cannabis.