The highly-revered stoner holiday of 4/20 is fast approaching, and cannabis lovers are excitedly counting down the days when they celebrate their love for getting high as one unified body. But where did this unique holiday get its origin from? Is there any significance to the numbers or was there some secret code to avoid the long arm of the law? Whether you’re a casual cannabis user or a full-blown pothead, you’ve undoubtedly heard of 4/20 and now it’s time to learn how this unique “weed day” celebration came to be. We’ll start off by touching briefly on some rumors of the origin as well as what’s been widely accepted as the true story. Let’s begin!
Rumor #1: Weed Smokers Spotted
In our article entitled “ "Well That's What I Call It!" What Your Name For Marijuana Says About You!”, we touched on some of marijuana’s many names. Blue Cheese and Crippy may be familiar due to some famous artists (Whoopty by CJ and Krippy Kush by Bad Bunny) while other street names are naturally ingrained into our minds (grass, mary jane, ganja, etc.) Due to marijuana’s many names, it was rumored that the numbers “4/20” were used as code by police officers as a way to avoid detection on those listening to radio scanners. When you think of other numbers used by cops to effectively communicate with each other (10/4 ring a bell?), it’s not far-fetched to think that 4/20 was their secret way of letting other officers know there had been weed smokers spotted.
Rumor #2: Adolf Hitler’s Birthday
It’s shocking to think that weed and Adolf Hitler had anything to do with each other, but April 20th, 1889 is indeed the heinous tyrant’s birthday. Some historians state that Hitler’s Third Reich campaign was riddled with brain-addling drugs such as heroin, cocaine, meth, morphine, and many others. This may have added fuel to the fire that 4/20 was indeed associated with the marijuana-centered holiday, but from what we can tell, this dark theory is best left alone with other extremist conspiracy theories.
Rumor #3: Lyrics from Bob Dylan
The idea that “Rainy Day Women 12 & 35” by Bob Dylan had anything to do with weed is a bit of a stretch. In a comical mathematical equation, 12 x 35 does indeed equal 420, but it does not mean that Bob Dylan invented 4/20 as the popular stoner holiday. Rather, it’s a comical coincidence that the numbers equal 420 as well as the inclusion of the lyrics “everybody must get stoned.” Mr. Dylan may have wanted to popularize the numbers by putting it to music, in which he was quite successful. However, it’s not an absolute fact that his song numbers and lyrics gave birth to the beloved 4/20 as we know it today.
The Most Widely Accepted Story of 4/20’s Origin
Our story begins a little over 50 years ago at the San Rafael High School in Marin County, California. A group of five students gathered ‘round the famous chemist Louis Pasteur statue to secretly light up. Care to take a guess what time? Yep, 4:20 PM! The specific time was when their extracurricular activities for the day ended; when the desire to smoke weed crept up, they would tell the others “420” as a code word that they were ready to go smoke.
While the 4:20 PM time was merely a starting time to smoke, the group often found themselves in hilarious activities they called “safaris.” As they got older, one of the members found himself a roadie for Phil Lesh, the bassist for Grateful Dead. This band is rumored to help further the “420” code word, specifically with an Oakland flyer that encouraged people to meet up for smoking festivities on “4/20” or April 20th. Word quickly spread and this code word continues to be used today as both a slang term for marijuana as well as the beloved stoner holiday.
How 4/20 Is Celebrated Today
The phrase coined half a century ago is still going strong in today’s times. 4/20 is a nationally recognized holiday that potheads eagerly look forward to. Cannabis sites and stores offer heavily discounted items and special sales to help those on a budget celebrate by getting high at a lower price (no pun intended!). Regardless if you prefer actual weed or hemp-derived psychoactive cannabinoids, 4/20 is a date known specifically for getting high. Of course, you should only celebrate if cannabis is legal in your state. Be safe with your smoking sessions; don’t smoke and drive, don’t purchase from sketchy sites or sellers, and always partake in a trusted judgment-free space.
In the last few years, we’ve seen a radical shift in the perception of marijuana, both for recreational and medicinal purposes. Out of the 50 states, nearly half have legalized it for recreational use and more states are strongly considering legalizing its use as well. It’s entirely possible this is strictly for tax revenue rather than admitting the many benefits cannabis has to offer, but does the actual reason really matter? Cannabis lovers can finally enjoy getting high with the feared legal repercussions as well as the negative stigma that surrounds it. The cannabis plant has suffered a long period of both villainization and deep affection; in current times, we’re seeing a push for both marijuana and psychoactive hemp-derived cannabinoids in a more positive light. Hopefully with proper research and education, the beloved plant can finally get the recognition it deserves: a holistic approach to getting high that soothes both the body and the mind! Thanks to this article, now you can understand the history behind 4/20 and how it came to be.
Here at TwoHawk Extracts, we’re excited to share products with you that not only get you high, but are legal in accordance with the 2018 Farm Bill. Our collection of gummies, softgels, tinctures, disposable vapes and vape cartridges are available in Delta-8 THC, Farm Bill Compliant Delta-9 THC, HHC, and THC-O . Each and every one has been tested for purity and potency by third-party independent labs, the results of which can be found in the product description as well as by scanning the QR code on each product packaging. Should you have any questions about anything in this article or regarding hemp/cannabis in general, feel free to reach out to us! Our team of dedicated cannabis specialists will be glad to answer any and all questions you may have. In our next article, we'll be touching on some new terms for cannabis strains that are more accurate than the traditional terms of “hybrid”, “indica” and “sativa.” We hope you’ll join us for that and many other frequently asked questions about cannabis. Until then, Happy 4/20!