Now that the dankest day of the year is upon us, I thought it would be fun to break away from my typical legal jargon and have a little fun. So let’s take a peek into the past with a 420 history lesson. Join me, your ganja guide, in exploring the origins of this annual stoner celebration!
Almost everyone (aside from the hopelessly square) knows that the term 420 is synonymous with all things marijuana. While tall tales abound, no one seems sure of when and where the phrase comes from. You’ve probably heard each of the stories below at some point in your smoking career:
Go ahead and snuff out everything on that list because it’s all nonsense. California Health and Safety Code 11357-11362.9 applies to marijuana; H & S 420 is about obstructing entry on public land. I suppose a large outdoor grow on city property could potentially relate, but that scenario is highly unlikely. Any Bob Marley fan worth his or her Rasta wristband will tell you the legendary lion passed away on May 11th, 1981. High Times Magazine debunked the chemical compounds rumor through extensive testing and set the number at 315. Congress tackled the marijuana legalization issue a number of times over the years, but only California Senate Bill 420 bears that magic number in its name.April 20th was Hitler’s birthday, but he was reportedly a tweaker, not a pothead. The 420 phrase popped up well before Pulp Fiction’s 1994 release, although that’s a great movie to watch when you’re baked. And for the record, not every clock shown in the film reads 4:20, although that number appears prominently in the pawn shop scene. None of the members of club 27 died on the same day. If you thought otherwise, then you get a fat F in classic rock.
So why is 420 celebrated anyway? Well it’s a long story. If you want the full details, I suggest you read through Ryan Grimm’s article in the Huffington Post. The whole 420 weed association started with a group of teens at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, CA circa 1971. A few of the crewmembers partied with the Grateful Dead, and 420 became a code word for weed backstage. As the Dead traveled the world, they took their California slag along for the ride. Eventually, 420 hit the pages of High Times Magazine in the early 90s. Today no self respecting stoner would be caught dead without weed on the 20th of April. That’s just wrong, man.
Since 420 is a California native, the holiday has deep roots throughout the state. From Fort Dick down to San Diego, you can bet that the dispensaries in your area will be offering blowout sales on your favorite top shelf strains. After you stock up on the loud, you might want to check out these herbalicious festivals to spark up your stash with thousands of fellow patients:
Hempcon Medical Marijuana Show in San Jose
Coachella (Not an Official 420-friendly Event!)
The 420 Festival in San Bernardino
UC Santa Cruz Annual Smokeout
4/20 PSYCHEDELIC MELTDOWN in San Francisco
WOMP Island 420 Music Festival in San Francisco
Just in case you haven’t heard, the hyped up WeedORama 420 festival has been postponed. No word yet on whether or not a name change is in the works.
Image source: http://jayrivera.deviantart.com/art/420-Banner-297395244
Humboldt Relief Photographer/Webmaster since 7/2010. Katherine is a professional copywriter responsible for all of the content, including photography, graphics, and text, on the HR website unless otherwise specified. She also handles HR's social communities. She earned her B.A. in Political Science from California State University, Northridge, and works at PrintFirm.com when she's not volunteering for HR. Connect with her on:
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