420, this is a phrase that can be heard on a daily basis from cannabis enthusiasts around the globe. But does anyone know where this iconic phrase actually started?
For decades, this phrase has been used by toker’s country wide. And the calendar date has become a sacred time as well! But when you ask fellow smokers about the origination of the phrase. You are setting yourself up for tall tales, and nothing but smoke and mirrors. Cause lets face it. Someone needs to do their research, and it’s not going to be you. So from my research to your computer screen; the origins of 420 Enjoy!
Have you heard of the “Waldo’s” before? (No not that sweater and hat wearing trickster). But five school chums in the fall of 71’, who were given their very own treasure map. This treasure map would lead them to a secret spot given to a Steve Waldo. Now this map was from a friend of the boys, who’s older brother happened to be a paranoid coast guard employee. Why was he paranoid? Well this coast guard had a knack for growing cannabis, and he had a plot of land at Point Reyes Peninsula where he was growing just that. He then gave the Waldo’s permission to begin harvesting the cannabis.
The Waldo’s soon devised a plan to meet at 4:20 at the statue of chemist Louis Pasteur on the grounds of San Rafael High. When the boys met, they promptly toked and then set off with their treasure map to find their gold.
Each time the boys would meet up after this adventure, they would use the phrase 4:20 Louie, but they soon dropped the “Louie”.
The Simplicity Of A Stoners Mind
This is actually credible stuff, there is a book; “The Waldo’s true story, proof of 420″ which has been scrutinized by credits all over. But in the end, their story held up, and the Waldo’s coined the phrase 420.
Although 420 is an expression coined by the Waldo’s legally. It was in fact “The Grateful Dead” that really made the phrase so widely popular across North America. Seeking a new sanctuary, the band picked up and moved to Marin County Heights. The bans new place happened to be just a few blocks from where the Waldo’s were attending high school. The parents of one of the boys was into real estate with the band, so the boys used this information to hang out/toke with the band . By using the phrase 420 frequently around the band, the expression was quickly imprinted in their minds and they started to use the code word as well. Pretty soon, it seemed no matter where you went.. people knew what you were talking about when you spoke of 420.
Now that we’re all enlightened on the origins of 420, I must say. I vote the new expression for safety meetings to be “Where’s Waldo?” 😉