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420 (cannabis Culture)

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420 (cannabis Culture)

420
Statue of Louis Pasteur, at San Rafael High School, which is said to be the site of the original 4:20 gatherings.
Observed by Cannabis counterculture, legal reformers, entheogenic spiritualists
Type Secular
Observances Cannabis consumption
Date April 20
Next time 20 April 2016 (2016-04-20)
Frequency annual

420, 4:20, or 4/20 (pronounced four-twenty) is a code-term that refers to the consumption of cannabis and by extension, as a way to identify oneself with cannabis culture or simply cannabis itself. Observances based on the number 420 include smoking cannabis around the time 4:20 p.m., as well as smoking and celebrating cannabis on the date April 20 (4/20 in U.S. form).[1]

Origins

A group of people in San Rafael, California,[2][3] calling themselves the Waldos[4] because "their chosen hang-out spot was a wall outside the school",[5] used the term in connection with a fall 1971 plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop that they had learned about.[4][6] The Waldos designated the Louis Pasteur statue on the grounds of San Rafael High School as their meeting place, and 4:20 p.m. as their meeting time.[5] The Waldos referred to this plan with the phrase "4:20 Louis". Several failed attempts to find the crop eventually shortened their phrase to simply "4:20", which ultimately evolved into a codeword that the teens used to mean marijuana-smoking in general.[6] Mike Edison says that Steven Hager of High Times was responsible for taking the story about the Waldos to "mind-boggling, cult like extremes" and "suppressing" all other stories about the origin of the term.[7]

Hager wrote "Stoner Smart or Stoner Stupid?" in which he called for 4:20 p.m. to be the socially accepted hour of the day to consume cannabis.[8] He attributes the early spread of the phrase to Grateful Dead followers, who were also linked to the city of San Rafael.[8]

April 20 observances

420 event in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, April 20, 2013
Students and others gather for a "420 Day" event in Porter Meadow at the University of California, Santa Cruz, campus on April 20, 2007.

April 20 has become a counterculture holiday in North America, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis.[1][9][10] Some events have a political nature to them, advocating for the legalization of cannabis. North American observances have been held at Hippie Hill in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park near the Haight-Ashbury district,[11] the University of Colorado's Boulder campus,[3][12][13] Ottawa, Ontario, at Parliament Hill and Major's Hill Park,[14][15] Montréal, Québec at Mount Royal monument,[16][17] Edmonton, Alberta at the Alberta Legislature Building,[18] as well as Vancouver, British Columbia at the Vancouver Art Gallery.[19] The growing size of the unofficial event at UC Santa Cruz caused the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs to send an e-mail to parents in 2009 stating: "The growth in scale of this activity has become a concern for both the university and surrounding community."[20]

Events have also occurred in Auckland, New Zealand at the Daktory[21] and Dunedin, New Zealand, at University of Otago.[22][23][24][25][26][27]

Impact

Signs bearing the number "420" have been frequently stolen. In Colorado, the Colorado Department of Transportation replaced the Mile Marker 420 sign on I-70 east of Denver with one reading 419.99 in an attempt to stop the thievery.[28] The Idaho Department of Transportation replaced the Mile Marker 420 sign on U.S. Highway 95, just south of Coeur d'Alene, with Mile Marker 419.9.[29] In Goodhue County, Minnesota, officials have changed "420 St" street signs to "42x St".[30]

See also

References

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  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^
  10. ^ 420 event lists - Cannabis Wiki
  11. ^
  12. ^ CU's 4/20 pot smoke-out draws crowd of 10,000 : CU News.
  13. ^
  14. ^
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  20. ^
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External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
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