What Does 420 Even Mean?

The origin of the term 420, celebrated around the world by connoisseurs every April 20, has long been obscured by the clouded memories of the folks who made it a phenomenon

Marijoinlah Forgetful

All eager beaver connoisseurs worldwide look forward to this date more than Kanye looks forward to seeing himself on TV. Every year April 20th hits and everyone hits Marijoinlah hard! There have been many theories surrounding the origins of 420, but there has yet to be a consensus on the actual origins of this number. Connoisseurs are never short of conspiracy theories, so lets explore some that don’t sound like BS.

420 Founding Fathers

The founding fathers of 420

The most accepted theory is that a group of men who called themselves the Waldos went to high school in San Rafael in California during the 1970s when the hippie culture reigned supreme. One day they heard from a friend about a patch of the stuff being grown by a U.S. Coast Guard member near the coastal town of Point Reyes. The Coast Guard member was too scared to go redeem it, so the Waldos decided to go on a treasure hunt for the patch. They decided to meet at a Louis Pasteur statue near campus at 4:20 p.m. to accommodate their school schedules, before heading off in search of the green gold, according to the website set up by the high-school group of friends.

The search routine went on for weeks and the group agreed to meet every day at "420 Louis" to continue the search. Though it wound up being a wild goose chase, it eventually gave rise to the shortened term "420".


Myth Busting! (Credit LA Weekly)

Q: Does 420 commemorate the death of Bob Marley?

A: No. It is not the date Bob Marley died (he died on 5/11/81), nor is 4/20 his birthday. It is also not the date that Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin or Jim Morrison died.

Q: Isn't there some kind of Grateful Dead connection?

A: Yes! Deadheads spread the wake-and-bake message of 420 around the country. However, the Grateful Dead did not always stay in Room 420 in hotels on the road.

Q: Isn't 420 Adolf Hitler's birthday?

A: Yes. Hitler was born on April 20, 1889. But 420 hardly commemorates that genocidal murderer. April 20 is also the anniversary date of another horrible buzzkill, the Columbine High School massacre of 1999. Fortunately, that is definitely not 420's origin, as references to 420 date back to the 1970s.

Q: Doesn't 420 refer to the number of chemical compounds in the stuff?

A: Wrong again. There are reportedly 315 chemicals in the stuff.

Q: A lot of people say 420 is a police radio code  

A: "All units, all units available, please respond to a 420, " No. But interestingly, 420 is the radio code for homicide in both fact (the Las Vegas Police Department) and fiction (CSI).

Q: Doesn't 420 refer to the section of the California penal code relating to Marijoinlah?

A: No again. Section 420 of the California penal code refers to obstructing entry on public land.

Q: How about "teatime" in Holland? Don't connoisseurs light up at exactly 4:20?

A: Sorry. BS.


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