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Happy 4/20! A Brief History

The 4/20 holiday is one that has developed strong symbolism, with people all over the world embracing this day. Whether you’re celebrating it or not, there is no denying the impact 4/20 has had on culture and its fascinating history. Join us as we take a look at where it all began. From historical roots to modern celebrations, dive into our exploration of 4/20 beyond the stereotypes to gain real understanding and appreciation for this holiday.

Exploring the origins of 4/20 as a term used by high school kids in California in the 70s


The history of 4/20 can be traced back to a group of high school students known as the Waldos. These five friends, who attended San Rafael High School in California in the early 1970s, used to meet regularly to smoke marijuana after school. One day, they heard about a Coast Guard member who had planted a secret cannabis plant somewhere in the nearby Point Reyes forest. The Waldos decided to search for the plant every day at 4:20 PM, after their extracurricular activities were over.

Although the Waldos never found the elusive plant, their weekly 4:20 PM search became a ritual for them and their friends. And eventually, the term “420” became synonymous with marijuana in their group. The Waldos even coined the term “420 code” to refer to smoking weed discreetly in public places.

But how did 420 become such a cultural phenomenon? The answer lies partly in the Waldos’ connection to the rock band The Grateful Dead. One of the Waldos’ older brothers managed the band’s real estate, and they often hung out with members of the Grateful Dead, including Phil Lesh.

As the story goes, the Waldos and their friends used to smoke weed with Lesh at Grateful Dead concerts, and they would use “420” as a code word to refer to their favorite pastime. Eventually, the term caught on with other fans of the band and spread throughout the counterculture.

Analyzing pro-cannabis legislation in recent years and its impact on public opinion

In recent years, pro-cannabis legislation has been a hot topic of discussion across the United States. As more states have legalized the drug for both medicinal and recreational purposes, it seems that public opinion on the matter is shifting. But what, exactly, is the impact of this legislation on how people view cannabis? While some argue that legalization normalizes drug use and places a greater strain on law enforcement, others argue that it brings the drug out of the shadows and into the light, making it safer for all involved. Only time will tell how these changing laws will shape public opinion in the years to come. 

Investigating the influence of pop culture on 4/20 celebrations

Pop culture has always had an impact on society, and with the celebration of 4/20, it’s no different. The influence of pop culture on this day has grown over the years, with movies, music, and social media all playing a part in how people celebrate. From Cheech and Chong’s stoner comedies to Snoop Dogg’s iconic music and merchandise, pop culture has normalized the use of marijuana and turned 4/20 into a widely recognized holiday. 

In sum, the 4/20 celebration has a longer and more varied history than many assume. It began as a term used by high school friends in California in the 1970s as an inside joke, but has grown over time to become an international phenomenon. Its remarkable origins have been thrust further into public consciousness due to the evolving legal landscape surrounding cannabis use and its accompanying cultural impacts, all of which show just how far the celebration — and, more broadly, cannabis acceptance — has come in recent years. And while different interpretations of 4/20 exist, it’s clear that for people all over the world, April 20th is a day dedicated to both celebrating beloved cannabis culture and partaking in some extremely chill activities. All that said—happy 4/20! 

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