Some people call it the Stoner Holiday, and there is no doubt that it certainly is, and has been for many years now, but don’t hold your bong hit too long waiting for it to become an official holiday any time soon. We don't care. That doesn’t matter to cannabis aficionados who hold this time of day, or date in April, close to their hearts. There will be celebrating.

 

When I was younger I was told that 420 was a police code for a pot smoking-selling-growing offense, and that it was adopted by stoners as a time to toke up. That is what a lot of people thought, but that turned out to be just another urban myth. So what is the origin of this special number? I went on an internet hunt a few years back and found a few curious explanations about 420, besides the real (?) story behind the holiday. I did another search yesterday and found many more articles about the origins of 420, and this certainly is a sign of the time we live in. The story’s sources ranged from cannabis culture magazines like High Times to the History Channel, CNN, Huffington Post, Time magazine, and many prominent newspapers in the US and abroad. Most of them had the same basic story.

In 1971, I was a Sophomore at high school in New Jersey. Meanwhile, my counterparts in California were doing pretty much the same things as me and my friends - extracurricular activities, driving around, smoking weed, hanging out. A small group my contemporaries in San Rafael, Calif. were meeting up every day after their school activities at 4:20 pm to smoke it up. The story sometimes says they were given a mapped location of an outdoor grow and they would do the 4:20 meet up to go hunting for it. Maybe so, maybe not, but as the story goes, long after they gave up on the hunt they continued meet at 4:20 to spark up after school activities. Several of the group’s members, (who called themselves the “Waldos" because they met at a wall by their school to toke up), had some loose ties to the band, The Grateful Dead, through their parents/family who worked with the group in various dealings. The 420 phenomenon crossed over from the teenagers to the Dead and their entourage, and from there it took off and spread across the country. This story behind 420's origins kind of got lost for a few years, which accounts for those of us in the east coast thinking it really was a police code. It’s no matter now. Everyone knows it was started with some California high school stoners. That’s the story -  and now everyone seems to be sticking to it

Should the medical cannabis community, young and old alike, embrace and celebrate this “stoner holiday”? I emphatically say YES! In a day and age where everyone is being manipulated into thinking they are ok and everyone who thinks differently is NOT ok, all cannabis connoisseurs should embrace our differences and enjoy each other’s company, be it for only a day. One day. April 20. Our holiday.

Oh crap! It is 4:50 pm and I typed myself right through 4:20pm. Oh well. It’s never too late. CG


 

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