If you’re a cannabis enthusiast, you’ve probably heard the term 420 before. But do you know where it comes from? Contrary to popular belief, 420 has nothing to do with the police code for marijuana possession. The true story of how 420 became associated with cannabis is actually quite surprising! In this blog post, we will explore the history of 420 and how it became such an important part of cannabis culture. Stay tuned for some interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about 420!
The legend of 420 begins in San Rafael, California in 1971. A group of high school friends known as the “Waldos” were on a mission. Convinced that an abandoned crop of weed planted by a now-imprisoned Coast Guard member was hidden somewhere in the nearby Point Reyes Peninsula, they met every day at 4:20 pm after sports practice to smoke a joint and search for the lost treasure. The group referred to their mission as “4:20 Louis” – denoting the time and place (a statue of Louis Pasteur at their school) of their meeting. They would eventually shorten it to just “420.”
But how did a secret code amongst high school friends for their daily cannabis smoking ritual become a worldwide phenomenon?
The Grateful Dead
Well, lie down smokin’ honey; have yourself a ball
This line from the Grateful Dead’s song The Golden Road can be interpreted as a reference to the calming and euphoric effects of smoking cannabis. And it’s no surprise that 420 and the Grateful Dead have a strong connection – Waldo Steve Capper, one of the original 420 group members, had an older brother who was friends with Dead bassist Phil Lesh. The Waldos would often hang out at their concerts and pass around joints with the band members.
Their hip code for cannabis use eventually caught on with the Dead’s community of fans. 1971 was a time of cultural and political upheaval, with the Vietnam War and counterculture movement in full swing. It was also a time of strict anti-drug laws, thus 420 soon spread throughout the cannabis subculture as a discreet way to refer to marijuana.
The 420 phenomenon grew even more popular in the 90s thanks to High Times magazine, the internet as well as cultural festivals such as the annual 420 gathering at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Today 420 tours are even a tourist attraction!
420 in DC
Now, 420 is recognized globally as a symbol of cannabis culture and advocacy. In Washington DC, 420 has special significance, as it is the date (April 20th) when an annual protest in support of marijuana legalization takes place. The epicenter of federal politics and power, Washington 420 events draw significant attention to the ongoing fight for cannabis legalization.
Over recent years, much has been done to push for marijuana reform, with the District legalizing cannabis possession and cultivation in 2014. But 420 in DC is still a time to push for further change, including legalization of cannabis sales and expungement of past marijuana convictions. The likes of which have seen a disproportionate number of African American individuals being arrested for marijuana-related offenses. It’s when we self-educate, come together and demand change, in 420 DC style that we can bring about a more just and inclusive society.
So the next time 420 rolls around, take a moment to reflect on the history of this important term. And remember – 420 isn’t just about getting high; it’s about celebrating cannabis culture and advocating for its legalization and social justice.
How you can help the 420 cause?
If you are an enthusiastic 420 supporter, there are several ways you can get involved in the 420 cause. You can participate in 420 events and protests, such as DC’s annual 420 rally or 420 celebrations at your local park. You can also write to your legislators and urge them to support cannabis legalization efforts. Simply by spreading awareness of 420 and its significance in history and medicine, you can help destigmatize the use of cannabis and further the 420 movement.
If you’re someone who prefers to take a more behind-the-scenes approach, consider a private cannabis session as a way to support 420. You can attend a 420-friendly event or host your own, and use it as an opportunity to educate others on the benefits and uses of cannabis while also supporting 420 businesses and advocates.
At DC Dash, we deliver 420 in the DC area to your door in a discreet, safe, and legal manner and we’re proud to be the most reliable and personalized delivery service in the area. Whether you’re looking for an Indica to help you relax after a long day or a Sativa to give you a boost of energy, we’ve got you covered.
Our members are patients, caregivers, and concerned citizens who believe that cannabis should be legally available for those who need it. Together, we can push for 420 legalization and bring about further change in societal attitudes towards cannabis. Reach out to us seven days a week for personalized service and same-day delivery.
420 on, DC Dash friends!