HomeEntertainmentDispelling Myths and Uncovering the Truth Behind 4/20 Marijuana Culture

Dispelling Myths and Uncovering the Truth Behind 4/20 Marijuana Culture

Perhaps you’ve noticed a certain vibe in the air today. April 20, also known as “Weed Day” in some circles, is associated with the use of marijuana due to the numerical code corresponding to the date, 4/20. However, how did this code come to be associated with smoking weed?

Let’s dispel some myths and rumors first. Some believe that the number 420 comes from California criminal codes related to marijuana use or distribution, but this is incorrect as the state’s 420 code refers to obstructing entry on public land.

There is also a theory that 420 is a police radio code, but this has been debunked as neither LAPD nor NYPD have a code 420 and San Francisco Police’s code 420 is for a “juvenile disturbance.” Another theory connects 420 to Bob Dylan’s song “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35,” but this seems far-fetched, as Dylan has never confirmed any link.

The most plausible story, according to Chris Conrad, the curator of the Oaksterdam Cannabis Museum in Oakland, California, is that 420 originated as a secret code used by a group of high school friends in the early 1970s.

The friends, known as “the Waldos,” attended San Rafael High School in Marin County, California and would meet at 4:20 p.m. to smoke weed. This time was convenient for them as they were out of school, but their parents were not yet home, giving them some unsupervised freedom.

They would often gather near a statue of Louis Pasteur, and the code 4:20 allowed them to talk about smoking weed without arousing suspicion from their parents. The use of 420 eventually spread, possibly through Grateful Dead followers, across California and beyond.

The number even appears in a California Senate bill that established the state’s medical marijuana program. Today, what was once a simple code for a group of friends has become a widely recognized symbol throughout pop culture.

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