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Where Does 420 Come From?

The Waldos outside their high school
The Waldos outside their high school

A few weeks ago, thousands of people around the world celebrated April 20th, or 4/20. To some, this is just a number. However, for everyone else, we all know that it means smoking marijuana.

Even with the thousands of people celebrating the holiday in their own way, only a very small amount of them actually know where the holiday originated, and how the number 420 became synonymous with the “weed culture.”

The question of how did 420 start or where does 420 come from is associated with a handful of popular myths. Instead of knowing the facts, most resort to believing one of three popular myths. Let’s dive into them and get the facts.

Check out the below youtube video for a video explanation:

Myth 1 – Celebrities

The first myth about 420 is that a big name in the marijuana world made it up. We’ve heard names like Willie Nelson, Wiz Khalifa, Cheech and Chong, and even Snoop Dogg. While the popularity of these icons could have let them have this sort of influence, there is actually no real connection between these celebrities and the holiday. It just seems like they all really enjoy it.

Myth 2 – California Penal Code

Many believe that the 420 refers to a California penal code, used for those incarcerated for marijuana-related crimes, like a foiled deal or even a drug bust. While we spent a great deal of time researching the California penal code, we could not find a connection between the two at all.

Myth 3 – Police Code

This brings us to the most-believed myth: the police code. The vast majority of those who celebrate 420 believe it refers to the reference number police use to classify a marijuana-related crime in progress. Once again, just like for the penal code, we could not find any connection between these two.

Where Does 420 Come From?

So where does 420 come from? It comes from a high school in San Rafael California.

In the 1970s, a group of high schoolers, who called themselves “the Waldos,” would tell each other “420 Louis” to one another in the halls. They heard there was a marijuana plant which had been planted in a wooded area nearby. Their plan was to meet at a statue (Louis Pasteur) outside their school, smoke marijuana, and then go look for this alleged plant hidden in the woods.

They never found the plant, so it turned into a meeting at 4:20 pm and they would go smoke marijuana from there, thus a tradition was born.

4/20 and CBD

You might be asking yourself why a CBD company would even want to celebrate a holiday like 4/20, especially with our focus being on CBD and not on THC. However, 2019 is the first year that hemp is federally de-scheduled legal in the United States, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill.

With our focus being on educating people on all things cannabis, we look at 420 as a great way to tell the history of the holiday. While we didn’t celebrate the holiday like many people did, we did showcase the side of cannabis that doesn’t result in a “high” effect.

Justine Lopez

Justine Lopez is an advocate for a positive and healthy lifestyle that improves physical and mental wellness. She is part of the editorial team of MadebyHemp.com, a small Michigan-based company dedicated to helping others improve their well-being through quality CBD hemp oil supplements and products. (Disclosure: The articles that I submitted first appeared on MadeByhemp.com)

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