The Origin and Meaning Cannabis 420 Celebrations
written by: Felixdavid
The cannabis culture is gradually spreading to different parts of the world and the number of people taking marijuana for medical or recreation purposes is on the rise. The cannabis culture revolves around the production, distribution, and consumption of Cannabis and the related products. It also covers events and campaigns held by activists and stones to push for the legalization of Marijuana. Cannabis 420, popularly known as 4:20 or just 4/20 and pronounced as �four-twenty’ is used to mean consumption of marijuana. A term is also used in a specific context to men smoking it around 4:20 p.m. Some people also use the term 420 to refer to date 20, April every year as the day for celebrating the achievements made in pushing for the legalization of marijuana. In other words, April 20 is the cannabis holiday to some people.
It is believed that a group of five high school students from San Rafael-California first used the term 420 or �cannabis 420’ in 1971. This group of students called themselves as the Waldos and used to hang near the wall outside the school to conduct cannabis related activities. The group used the term Waldos to refer to their plan to search for some abandoned marijuana crop and chose 4:20 p.m. as their meeting time. They met several times at 4:20 p.m. to plan their search for abandoned cannabis crop and this eventually led to the use of 420 as a coded term to mean smoking marijuana by teens.
Now, the question is who then made the term cannabis 420 into such as huge cut-like thing in marijuana culture? Did it just spread like that? Well, this is where the controversy arises because there are many explanations as to why 420 is a big word among the lovers of marijuana. There are those who believe that Steven Hager, from High Times Magazine, was responsible for the fame associated with this term today. In his article, Hager wrote that 4.20 p.m. was the socially accepted time for smoking cannabis. His fans and followers of the High Times magazine then picked the term 420 to mean smoking and celebrating marijuana.
Another version of the story is that a flier spread at the Grateful Dead Concert was responsible for the spread and fame associated with 420. It is believed that one of the Waldos brothers was a close friend of Phil Lesh, a bassist with the Grateful Dead Band. The Waldos established close ties with the band and this led to the spread of the slang among band members and their fans. When the Cannabis Magazine- the High Times- Steven Bloom visited the band’s show in the early 1990’s, he was given a flier that was asking people to meet at 4:20. Bloom later published that information on the magazine leading to the spread of the slang to readers. According to Bloom, it is the Waldos who coined the term but no one knows the people who printed it on the fliers or who later changed 420 to a holiday among the lovers of marijuana.
Today the term cannabis 420 has become has become very popular among the stoners in the USA and date 20 every April is now celebrated as the Marijuana High Holiday by marijuana smokers. In many states where smoking marijuana has been legalized, smokers use Thursday as the day to celebrate cannabis high holiday. College students gather around 4.20 p.m. to smoke marijuana and cheer as clouds of smoke rise to the sky. Sellers of marijuana in states where the commodity has been legalized use this day to thank their loyal customers with discounts when buying their favorite cannabis strains.
The term 420 is also used by proponents of the marijuana to push for its legalization in states that are yet to accept cannabis as legal stuff. For instance, the proponents of cannabis used this year April 20 Cannabis 420 celebrations to reflect on their achievements in the campaigns to push for its legalization in the USA. By 2017, about eight states and the capital had legalized smoking marijuana as a recreational stuff. The proponents of Marijuana also used the celebrated to figure out how the political change in the country could affect their campaigns to have cannabis legalized in other states.
The 420 celebrations are all about popularizing the consumption of marijuana as recreational stuff. In some parts of the country, the celebrations are a big event and attract thousands of attendants. For instance, in Hippie Hill at the San Francisco Golden-Gate-Park, the party hosts thousands of attendants while in some places such as Seattle the celebration is held as a private party that attracts less than 250 attendants. In other places, there are no real parties, but sellers of cannabis offer their customers discounted prices to mark the day. Cannabis 420 celebrations are also held by some university students whereby they gather to smoke and sample different strains of marijuana. Today, some breweries in the country also make 420-themed-beers to celebrate those who coined this word.
The cannabis 420 celebrations go hand in hand with the politics surrounding the legalization of marijuana in the country. For instance, in 2017 consumers of cannabis used 420 celebrations to mark their achievement in campaigning for the legalization marijuana in the Massachusetts, Nevada, California, and Maine. The celebrations were also used to acknowledge the legalization of cannabis as a recreational stuff in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon states. It is also worth noting that although more than half of the states in the USA now allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, it remains an illegal commodity under the federal laws.
According to the recent trends, the 420 celebrations are likely to become even more intense in the country in the near future. This is because cannabis is rapidly gaining legal and political acceptance as a social stuff. The once assumed an illegal stuff for the teenagers is now supported even by adults. For instance, latest polls show that about 60 percent of the adults in the USA support the legalization of Marijuana. Majority of those supporting the consumption of cannabis argue that it is safer than some drugs illegally sold in the country. They also believe legalization of cannabis will come with numerous social and economic benefits to the people and the country at large.
Generally, the cannabis 420 is partially a celebration and partially a campaign for the legalization of cannabis in the country. It is undeniable that the once-secret meeting among the Waldos is now a public event that has become a culture among cannabis smokers in the country. However, this does not mean that the struggles to have cannabis as legal stuff are over because participants of 420 parties are arrested and put in jail in some parts of the country. Nevertheless, the proponents of marijuana are not giving the fight and there is no doubt we are going to have more 420 parties in the USA and other parts of the world in the near future.