I don’t know about you but I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s and was always told that 420 was the police call for a marijuana crime in progress. I was also told that on April 20th at 4:20 everyone in DC would light up a joint while the police ignored it. I am not sure if any of this is true so I decided to do some research.
The number one story I found was about a group of 5 high school students called The Waldos in San Rafael, California. In 1971 they heard about a field of abandoned pot plants that belonged to a man that moved away. After school everyday they would meet at 4:20 to go search for them. They never did find it but they became famous. In fact one of the boys was Dave Reddix who went on to become the roadie for Grateful Dead’s Bassist, Phil Lesh.
From this point on cannabis users referred to 420 as the socially accepted hour to smoke. But it went on to become the call for celebration as well as activism for legalization. This has been going on my entire life until Colorado opened the door to legal recreational use…..something I never thought I would see in my lifetime!!
It has become such a counterculture movement Colorado had to change their 420 mile marker sign on I-70 to 419.99 due to thievery as well as Idaho in I-95 and many other places. Also the dial code of the Czech Republic and the rate of cannabis users there is the highest in the world. The federal bill to try and legalize cannabis across the entire country is called H.R. 420. In other words 420 is synonymous with marijuana.
I think as we celebrate 420 tomorrow we need to be grateful for all the activists that brought about change for us to enjoy today. So while you run around on this great day send a prayer of thanks to The Waldos and all who fought for our right for legal marijuana!!