The Origin of 420

The cultivating truth of how a popular favorite time and day came to be. We dive deep into the roots of how 4:20 became a time internationally recognized as a time to indulge in the Cannabis plant.

Out of all the holidays in the world, there is one that is unlike any other. One that does not revolve around any religious stories nor the celebration of a countries independence. Just a harmonious day utilized to bring people from all different backgrounds around a single common interest :


Despite being recognized globally, very few people know the true origin of the how these three digits came to be. Unfortunately, there is no epic story about the first joint ever rolled, nor is it the day Jamaican legend Bob Marley passed away. 420 originated from the town of San Rafael, California in 1971. The term was first coined by a group of high school students who called themselves: 

The Waldos

 In the fall of '71 a member of the US Coast Guard who was illegally growing cannabis gave Waldo Steve a treasure map to his grow spot. The coast guard was paranoid (and probably high) so he gave Steve permission to harvest his grow. The Waldos then agreed to meet up at 4:20 after school at the statue of chemist Louis Pasteur on the Campus of San Rafael High School. Shown below is the Waldos over 40 years later at the same statue.

Although they looked for it, no massive cultivation site was found on this day. Instead the boys proceeded to medicate, and 4:20 became their code word for it. Eventually the phrase spread throughout the school, from generation to generation, city to city, country to country, until these three digits cemented their place in cannabis culture forever. Four-twenty is a time and a date which (hopefully) holds irreplaceable memories for all of us. 

Daniel Branca

Daniel Branca is a blogger and journalist specializing in cannabis, vaping and health. He has 7 years of experience in the industry and is commited to providing accurate and up-to-date information. On his off days, he likes to read, workout, and light bowls.

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