420 is something of a holiday for marijuana consumers. The number has expanded to encompass all things those in the marijuana community hold dear. And it also all started being an inside joke among a group of Northern California secondary school students in the early 1970s.
April 20, or 4/20, is actually a significant day for your marijuana-consuming community.
4:20 p.m. is considered an optimal time and energy to light up for smokers, and spaces where you could smoke marijuana are often labelled 420 Friendly. The phrase was even added to the Oxford English Dictionary, used to refer to the “act of smoking marijuana.” Suffice to state, the quantity 420 holds an exclusive place in marijuana smokers’ hearts. But where did this all result from? How did 420 become a worldwide phenomenon?
The history begins in California in early 1970s when a group of high school students – called “The Waldos” for any wall they would all spend time on after school – received some excellent news. Two of “The Waldos,” Steve Capper and Dave Reddix, stopped by “The Criminals” podcast earlier this month to share with the tale of methods 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 friend 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 by the Point Reyes Coast Guard Station. Capper’s friend drew him a map, which he taken to the rest of The Waldos. “We were teenage boys, which was free weed,” Reddix remembers. “Are you kidding?”
Reddix says the boys decided to meet by a statue of Louis Pasteur on the high school campus at 4:20 p.m. to start out looking 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 all the way available,” Reddix said. “It looked such as a scene 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. every day to continue the search, though they admit – greater than four decades 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 one another in the hallways that we were planning 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 one another,” Reddix said. His or her selection of friends got larger, more and more people inside their social circle adopted the phrase for his or her 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 phrase to his friend Phil Lesh, who happened to get the bass player of the Grateful Dead, the term really took off. “What began as a little private code, secret joke, transformed into a worldwide phenomenon,” Reddix said.
Lesh confirmed just as much to 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” 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, according to “The Criminals” host Phoebe Judge, is a clipping from the San Rafael Senior High School newspaper from 1974. Certainly one of “The Waldos,” when asked a matter about his best advice for that graduating class, simply responded “420.” Now, in 2018, it’s not simply a holiday for smokers, but a tremendous marketing chance for legal marijuana brands like MedMen and Eaze.