April 20, or what is now being called “420,” is known as national marijuana day amongst pot smokers around the world, but many people are unfamiliar with its origin. Back in 2010, the Huffington Post researched the origins of why 420 is a holiday and what they found is more surprising than the answers most people come up with.
When people are ask what is the day of 420 means, many answers surface such as it is the number to Bob Dylan’s song, a police code, Hitler’s birthday, the number of marijuana strands California has, and the number of chemicals in medical marijuana. The Huffington Post researched the origin of the seemingly infamous number and it resulted that 420 referred to a lost patch of cannabis in a Point Reyes, California forest. Until Steven Bloom came across a flyer handed to him at a Grateful Dead concert that read, ” we are meeting on 4/20 at 4:20 for 4-20-ing in Marin County.”
The real back story then surfaced to what the real meaning of 420 is today. Bloom reported his findings of the meaning of 420 to High Times, a marijuana magazine, in 1991, and they revived the information to help the Huffington Post get down to the origin of the national day.
The story conveyed that 420 started in San Rafael, California in the late 1970’s. It started as a police code for, “marijuana smoking in progress.” Once pot smokers found out the term, they used 420 to refer to the herb. However, 420 has nothing to do with police code Though, the fact that San Rafael being the place it originated from is correct.
Further research found that a group of San Rafael high school students, known as Waldos, created the term in 1971. When interviewed by the Huffington Post, they told the reporter they never envisioned their journey to Point Reyes Forest to be a national day celebrated amongst pot smokers around the world.
Now, 44 years later, the celebration of the national marijuana day, medical marijuana is legal in 32 states. Stoners continue to gather amongst friends in celebration by eating edibles, smoking pounds of marjiuana, and zoning out in celebration of the benefits marijuana provides to many of consumers around the world.
Although medical marijuana has not been found to cause any harm or death to anyone, it is a drug that doctors say comes with many benefits that takes away pain, treats glaucoma, controls epileptic seizures, stops cancer from spreading, decreases anxiety, and more beneficial aspects. Pot smokers must also be aware of the risky effects of marijuana which are implications with thinking, memory problems, coordination, and time perception. Marijuana can also effect balance and attention.
With careful precautions taken, the marijuana holiday will continue to be celebrated. Now that many states have been legalizing the drug, through more research of the benefits and risks of the drug, a true stance on marijuana by doctors will be found. Pot smokers are able to thank the Waldos for their forays into the forest of California to create a day with significance that results in peace.
National marijuana day, also known as 420, is a day for getting “baked,” while stoners participate in many marijuana events such as the Colorado Cannabis Cup awards, public smoke outs, and other recreational activities. If used safely, using marijuana on 420 can result in many laughs.
By Krystle Mitchell
Photo By: Brett Levin – Flickr License