April 20th, or 4/20, is right around the corner. But where does 420 come from? Many believe it was the police code for smoking marijuana in public, but that’s actually not true.
The Huffington Post did an investigative piece on the origins on 420 back in 2010 that is supported by many, including the folks at Oaksterdam University. As this legend has it, 420 originated at San Rafael High School in 1971. Five friends who called themselves the “Waldos” heard a rumor that there were some unattended cannabis plants ready for harvest near the Point Reyes Peninsula Coast Guard station.
The Waldos would meet up after school at 4:20; specifically, at the statue of Louis Pasteur outside of San Rafael High that’s still an unofficial “cannabis landmark.” Then, they would go off searching for the weed plants, a treasure hunt of sorts. In fact, according to the story the Waldos told the Huffington Post, they even had a treasure map.
During the school day they would remind each other they were going “weed hunting” by saying “420” in the halls. Because they would also smoke on the drive out to Point Reyes, 420 evolved into slang for smoking weed for this group of friends. They also, apparently, never found any cannabis plants.
But how did 420 spread around the world? The short answer is: The Grateful Dead. The Dead moved up to Marin County around the same time. One of the Waldos, “Steve” (not his real name), told the Huffington Post: “Marin County was kind of ground zero for the counter culture.” The Grateful Dead practiced just blocks away from San Rafael High School and the Waldos began to hang out around them for a few reasons.
First, one of their father’s took care of the Dead’s estate. Plus, one of the Waldo’s older brothers was friends with and worked with Phil Lesh, the bassist. Therefore, these high schoolers had access to Dead parties, concerts, and rehearsals and were casually using their 420 slang. Four-twenty caught on with Dead heads and traveled around the world with them.
Now, April 20th is an international day of weed smoking and celebration. Plus, people use the day around the world to host protests, marches, and smoke outs to promote cannabis legalization and awareness on the medical benefits of marijuana.
It’s the first 4/20 that cannabis is fully legal for adult use in California, and we couldn’t be happier. Rosin Tech will be celebrating by hosting a #solventless experience at the first High Time’s Cannabis Cup in fully legalized California. Come say “high” at our booth! Stop by for a dab, meet the team and press some of the dank, new flower you got into rosin on our full line of solventless extraction equipment. We’ll be there all 4/20 weekend. See you there!