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The history of 420

Each year on April 20th at 4.20pm millions of people across the world will join together in an unofficial holiday celebrating cannabis on a day that is known as 420.

How did this holiday come to be, and what does it represent for the cannabis community?

The Waldos

There is come mystery behind the birth of 420 and how it became such a modern-day phenomenon.

Many believe that its origins lie in a group of teenagers from San Rafael High School in Marian County.

They would often join together to smoke cannabis at 4.20pm each day. Hence, their nickname for cannabis became 420.

The group nicknamed themselves “Waldos” after the wall that they would sit on. They were popularised by Steven Hager of High Times who first mentioned them.

However, the first mention in High Times appeared in 1991 and mistakenly attributed the term to a police code which has caused confusion since. It wasn’t until 1998 that the Waldos appeared.

The Grateful Dead are also credited as one of the Waldos became a roadie and helped the group helped popularise the term.

420 in the 21st century

Since then, 420 has taken on a life of its own with the day being celebrated throughout the world.

Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco is one of the most famous places where 420 occurs, but there are events throughout America, Australia, UK, and New Zealand.

The event is not just a cause to smoke cannabis but also to advocate for legalisation and cannabis liberalisation. The act of 420 can be considered a form of civil disobedience.

As 420 has seeped more into popular culture, we have seen celebrities embrace the event and the number becoming synonymous with cannabis.

Bicycle Day is a similar event in the psychedelic community that takes place the day before to celebrate the first intentional dose of LSD by Albert Hofman.

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