Reflecting upon the origins, sharing stories, and speculating on greater meaning are all perfect ways to celebrate this infamous, but decidedly unofficial, national holiday. April 20 has become the day when canna-thusiasts from around the world break free from the daily grinder and pause to enjoy their higher calling.
The original use of the term has been shrouded in mystery with as much debate as the existence of Sasquatch, but a few stories have bubbled to the top as the most likely flash points of what would become a global phenomenon. To most it would seem as though "420" as a euphemism for pot smoking was born from none other than High Times magazine; in May 1991 Steve Bloom began to spread the term around the office and in publication. His inspiration, however, leads to a flyer for a Grateful Dead show that was being passed around in Oakland inviting people to smoke "420" on April 20 at 4:20pm. Steve takes to this inspiration by blowing it up into a national, and eventually global, day of recognition.
As simplistic and magical as that story may be, the true origins come from a group of students attending San Rafael High School in the early 70's, and the wall where they would hang out would dub them the "Waldos." After a friend gave them a map to his brothers hidden weed patch they decided to find it one day after school. The earliest the Waldo's could meet would be 4:20 and the Louis Pasteur statue across from their "wall" was the perfect place. Yelling "420 Louie" in the halls to remind each other about this secret meeting. While never finding the patch in the vast countryside they wound up driving around, lost, and would "420" continuously. Eventually this term was used as their code to toke up, even in front of their parents.
As it turns out, a brother of one of the Waldos was a Deadhead and participated in the making of the very flyer High Times' Steve Bloom got ahold of in May 1991 - to which he proceeded to make famous. By the December 1998 issue of High Times, some 7-years later, Steven Hagar gets the lowdown on the real deal and properly attributes the true origins of 4/20 to the Waldo's of San Rafael High School.
Stories and 4/20 Amusement
Probably one the best is the Colorado Department of Transportation 2014 replacement of the mile marker 420 on I-70 with a sign that reads "419.99" as an attempt the stop of theft. Washington state has done this as well, and apparently Idaho has joined this club in late 2015.
Snapchat releases a "420 Bob Marley" filter which as racially insensitive as that may be, essentially gives everyone the ability to put on a digital blackface. Created in partnership with the Bob Marley Estate this creepy and poorly executed face-swapping technology blows diversity and sensitivity out the window.
Yoda One I Want
So let's light one up and share some of our own funny 4/20 stories as we celebrate this unlikely, unofficial, counter-culture holiday with one another. Light up MycoChat. Visit our member grows. Chill the eff out and let your brains play as the Mycotopia Community celebrates this special day!