Ever wonder where the term “420” came from? Many have heard the false rumor that it was a California police code for drug possession, but the actual origin lies within a group of high school friends from Marin County, California in the 1970s. Affectionately known as “The Waldos”, this coterie of wisecracking ne’er-do-wells obtained a treasure map to a mythical garden of weed at the Point Reyes Peninsula. The quintet of curious cannabis consumers went in search of the patch, agreeing to meet at 4:20 PM at the statue of Louis Pasteur at San Rafael High to begin their quest.
Coining a term in the process, “420 Louie” – and eventually just “420” – became a discreet way for the group to schedule a meet up to smoke marijuana. So yes, it was code for something, just not anything to do with police. In fact, the exact opposite.
The 420 designation stuck, spreading throughout the cannabis community, now representing the biggest the holiday for smokers worldwide, April 20th. Thank you Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz, and Mark Gravich.
Artwork by Dale Edwin Murray.