Legend has it, in the year 1971, a group called “The Waldos” (Pictured above holding the original 420 flag credit: Carly Schwartz & History.com) went on a journey on April 20, after school at 4:20pm, hunting for a mysterious cannabis plant, planted by a member of the Coast Guard who could no longer care for the plant.
Is this the truth? Maybe.
Did the Grateful Dead coin the term 420? Did Bob Dylan? Let’s talk about it!
The story about The Waldos is a popular one when you look up where 420 started, and by the sounds of it, they were Deadheads. This very well could’ve linked the two groups and the origin of the term. I found arguments saying The Grateful Dead put “420” on their concert poster and were the first to use it, I also found that Bob Dylan reference’s 420 in his song, “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” (12 x 5 = 420).
I recently read a book that introduced me to the hippie counter-culture in the 1960s, and didn’t realize how quickly, in the right community, certain ideologies could spread. This very well could’ve been the case with The Waldos and The Grateful Dead. The Waldos, in the right setting, with the right crowd, could have spread word of their meeting time of 4:20 to look for this cannabis plant (and partake in some cannabis use) and people liked the sound of it! And the story is over, as simple as that. It is difficult to believe that these stories don’t have some overlap, due to 4:20 being such a specific time for such a specific meaning.
One of my favorite observations of the use of “420” is regarding California law. California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana under the “Compassionate Use Act of 1996.” This was updated in 2003 in SB 420, COINCIDENCE?! Some don’t think so.
Even today, the phrase and date reference cannabis. Many college campuses and cities have large (usually frowned upon, some still illegal) gatherings to use cannabis. Last year, we even created a 420 giveaway for our incredibly loyal customers! I think it is important to remember where these little symbols come from, but we also shouldn’t forget the scrutiny that cannabis is still under.
Yes, our products come from HEMP not “pot”, but they are both cannabis and when so many people talk trash about your close relative, you should defend them! A lot of people don’t know the difference between the two, or will always just classify them as the same “bad drug.” Part of our mission is to help spread awareness and education regarding cannabis facts and fiction, and we will always continue to do that! Don’t forget to keep advocating and researching new laws and science regarding cannabis.
Where do you think the phrase 420 came from?