420 – The Unofficial Holiday

April 20th is an unofficial American National Holiday. Written in the standard local date format “mm-dd-yyyy” the holiday is celebrated on 4-20 yearly. 420 is increasingly celebrated internationally by cannabis activists. While the origins of the holiday are unclear, different theories have become popular. 

One common belief is that 420 was the California police or penal code for cannabis use, but there’s no evidence to support those claims.

Another theory is that Bob Dylan’s legendary “Everybody must get stoned” from his hit “Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35” (12 multiplied by 35 does equal 420).

A lesser-known theory of origin comes from a short story named “In the Walls of Eryx” by H.P. Lovecraft and Kenneth Sterling. The story describes “curious mirage-plants” that appeared to get the narrator high at 4:20 according to his watch. This 1939 story is perhaps the earliest written connection between cannabis and 420.

Currently, the general consensus is the Grateful Dead connection. Five students at San Rafael High School, located in Marin County California, would meet for a smoke session/searching for a lost cannabis plant at 4:20 p.m. They were nicknamed the Waldos and inspired the Grateful Dead to spread the lingo worldwide.

To put it bluntly, those are just rumors. In reality the true origin of the holiday is insignificant in comparison to its evolution. 

420 has been referenced in movies, on national TV, and cartoons. Some examples include Pulp Fiction, Price Is Right and Roko’s Modern Life.

While  many have set dates in their calendars, regulations have not kept up. Until recently police enforcement was elevated on April 20th to apprehend non-threatening cannabis consumers.

420 events also at times served as demonstrations for legal rights.

Today, many previously discriminated individuals can live productive lives while enjoying the benefits of cannabis. 

Apart from cannabis-oriented festivities, this holiday represents inclusiveness, self acceptance, achievements and unity. 

The term 420 friendly generally indicated a person or business open to allowing cannabis consumption in peace and without consequences.

As support for legalization grows, 420 is becoming more mainstream and commercialized. 

Let s know how you celebrate this unofficial holiday

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