As cannabis enthusiasts, I’m sure most of us have heard of 420. However, how many of us actually know what it means or where it comes from? I certainly didn’t until I researched it. I had always just heard people say it, knew it somehow referred to the time of day 20 past 4 and left it at that. In the spirit of the season here is a full history and explanation of the 420 movement.
These days most of us associate 420 with the time of day, as previously mentioned, or with April 20th. We know that it is considered the time to consume weed, hence the term “420 blaze it”, but do we know why?
It all began in 1971 in San Rafael California where a group of high school students were about to embark on a treasure hunt. Yes, this sounds like the plot for a coming of age comedy, but I suppose that’s how most good stories start. These high schoolers, who referred to themselves as the “Waldos” because they hung out on a wall a lot, found a map made by a grower that was supposed to lead to a huge cannabis crop. I know, the more I learned about this the more I wanted it to be made into a film. They chose the statue of Louis Pasteur on the grounds of their high school to meet. The time they chose was 20 past 4, and so the plan became known as 420 Louis. They tried to find the crop on a number of occasions but each time they failed. As time went on they simply began referring to the plan as 420. When they got together at 20 past 4 they would usually smoke a joint, and so it became synonymous with getting high. This caught on with other teenagers at the school but never went all that much further, not until the early 90s.
Once the story did come back to light a few of the Waldos were found for comment. They said that most of the fun was just in hunting for the plot, even though they essentially knew they wouldn’t find it. I just really really want to watch this film…if anyone fancies making it.
The Return of 420
In 1991 an editor of the famous High Times magazine, Steven Hager, brought back the idea of 4.20 pm as a smoking time, and 4/20 as a smoking holiday. It was another 7 years before there was mention of the origin of 420 and the Waldos. It is thought that this was due to a member of the original Waldos known as Dave Reddix became a roadie for The Grateful Dead and was still using the 420 ideal. It quickly spread that 4:20 pm was simply the time of day to smoke cannabis.
There are so many myths surrounding the origin of 420, which is to be expected really. Here are just some of the bizarre and often amusing stories that people have come up with over the years.
- 420 is the police scanner code for crimes relating to marijuana.
- 420 is the number of active chemical compounds that can be found in marijuana.
- That Jimi Hendrix, Janice Joplin, Jim Morrison or Bob Marley died on April 20th.
- April 20th was Hitler’s birthday, true but completely irrelevant.
- The legalisation bill to be passed through congress is bill number 420.
- Lovecraft wrote about “curious mirage plants” altering the narrator’s reality at 4.20 pm. Again I love it but it has been found to simply be a complete coincidence.
- Something that it is due to 4.20 pm being the normal tea time in Holland.
- That if you multiply 12 by 35 from the Bob Dylan song “Rainy Day Woman no.12 and no.35” you get 420. Again it’s technically true but has nothing to do with this particular 420.
There are several others, but those are definitely a few of my favourites.
What 420 Has Become
Of course, 420 caught on like wildfire and within a decade everyone was using it as the time of day it was best to smoke. It made its way onto t-shirts, weed merch, graffiti, bongs, pipes, grinders, you name it. It has become a code for stoners on matchmaking sites who can say they are “420 friendly” and has generally become a part of the community. Certainly, it has brought smokers together in a way that secret codes and language always does, but it has also done much more than that.
The 20th of April has become a cultural holiday all over the world and is a time for celebration, civil disobedience, protesting and activism. In places where cannabis is already legal, it is simply a reason for groups of like-minded people to gather and celebrate. However, in other parts of the world activists use the 20th of April as a day to take to the streets and protest. No matter if it’s to celebrate or if it’s a call to action, it is a global and unstoppable event that gets bigger and bigger every year. We can all come together to celebrate cannabis for the incredible plant that it is, celebrate our friends and family, basically celebrate whatever you want!
Of course, for many of us, 4/20 can’t be the usual big event due to lockdown restrictions. This is the second year in a row for some of us, but we can’t lose heart. There are plenty of fantastic ways to celebrate from home. Zoom parties, simply blazing and enjoying a relaxed time at home with snacks and a film, maybe trying something new like baking some edibles or making a delicious cannabis-laced dinner. No matter what, the 20th of April is worth celebrating, and now you can impress your friends with your superior knowledge by regaling them with the elusive and true origin of the 420 movement.
Now, it wouldn’t be 420 without a give-away. This post is brought to you in conjunction with Lineage Genetics and they have very kindly offered up a whopping 200 seeds. There are going to be 10 prizes of 20 seeds each! This is on top of our existing 420 giveaway.
The seeds in this promo that you can win are:
Lineage Genetics Seedbank was founded in Spain, 2012. Previously Lineage Genetics’ team worked with other major seedbanks in several different countries and have been involved in breeding programmes to create new strains and provide seeds for other seedbanks.
Lineage Genetics is a unique seedbank that caters for everybody’s needs, they have a huge selection of many different varieties; regulars, feminised, autoflowering, pure sativa strains, pure indica strains, the list goes on and their unique strains look absolutely incredible such as Las Vegas Purple Animal Kush, Orange Cookies and Black Zombie to name but a few. Lineage Genetics also have a selection of classic strains they’ve worked hard to stabilise from legendary genetics from Amnesia all the way to Northern Lights.
HOW TO ENTER
Simply tell us if you would like to win ‘Girl Scout Cookies’ or ‘Pineapple Cookies’ in the comments below.
- Winners Announced Tuesday 27th April
- Prizes are picked at random – each winner will be allocated 20 seeds
- Social Media or Forums Entries Don’t Count
- One entry per person. Double entries will not be counted
- Entries are verified first so your entry may not show up for 24-48 hours
- We will share the news on our social media pages. Winners will also be emailed directly and your details will remain discreet. We will only publish your name on the blog that is supplied with the entry
- Prizes must be claimed within 28 days or they will be put into the pot for a future promo
- The draw will be random and the results are final
- Have fun
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Remember: It is illegal to germinate cannabis seeds in many countries including the UK. It is our duty to inform you of this fact and to urge you to obey all of your local laws to the letter. The Vault only ever sells or sends out seeds for souvenir, collection or novelty purposes.
Legal Disclaimer: The competition winners will have their prizes sent to them via recorded delivery. If you win the competition but don’t receive your prize, we cannot resend competition prizes, so you’ll have to raise this with your local delivery service (In the UK, for example, this would be Royal Mail).