420 Meaning; What Does 420 in Weed/Cannabis Celebration Mean? History Explored
Every year on April 20th, people all over the world celebrate 420 by smoking marijuana/weed.
Thousands of people assemble in London’s Hyde Park, as well as open places around the UK and beyond, to commemorate a day that has come to be associated with marijuana.
But how did this day become known as something of a sacred feast for marijuana users?
The history of the number 420 is detailed here.
What Was The Origin Of The 420 Movement?
The history of 420 detailed in Time is backed up by a 2009 piece in the New York Times. The significance of 420 dates back to the early 1970s, when a group of youngsters in Northern California began smoking marijuana around 4:20 p.m. as a ritual, according to Steven Hager, a former editor of High Times.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, marijuana is the most commonly used illegal substance in the United States, with over 48 million Americans, or nearly 18% of the population, smoking it at least once in 2019.
In recent years, there has been an increase in support for legalizing marijuana for medicinal and even recreational use. According to a poll conducted by Elon University last year, 54 percent of North Carolinians support full legalization of marijuana and 73 percent support medical marijuana.
Although the origins of 420 are still questioned, the most widely acknowledged story comes from the 1970s in California.
“Back in 1971, five students at San Rafael High School in California would assemble at 4.20pm – just after finishing their after-school sports – near the school’s monument of Louis Pasteur to toke up,” according to a Hyde Park 420 Facebook event.
The Waldos, as they were known, coined the term “420” to refer to the act of smoking marijuana.
“As a result of this spread, 4.20 p.m. became recognized as the ideal hour for smoking dope, and the number 420 became synonymous with marijuana,” according to the story.
“We would remind each other in the hallways we were expected to meet up at 4.20,” one of the group members, Steve Capper, told The Huffington Post in 2012.
Another member of the band, Dave Reddix, is said to have been acquainted with The Grateful Dead’s bassist. The band is credited with popularizing April 20th as “weed day.”
4/20 is April 20 in the American calendar, which puts the month before the day. As a result, April 20 became a day of celebration for all things marijuana-related.
Is it Legal/Allowed to smoke on the 420? Can I smoke on 420?
Cannabis is prohibited in the United Kingdom and is categorised as a Class B substance. Possessing, growing, distributing, or selling it is prohibited.
If you’re caught with cannabis, you might face up to five years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both if you’re caught.
Producing and supplying the substance can result in a sentence of up to 14 years in prison, an infinite fine, or both.
Thousands of people, on the other hand, openly celebrate 420 every year.
The largest rallies take place in Hyde Park, where tens of thousands congregate for cannabis picnics and demonstrations.
At 4.20 p.m., the celebrations reach their pinnacle, with people cheering and releasing particularly huge puffs of smoke into the air.
Twenty individuals were detained at the London park on 420 in 2016 for a variety of drug offenses, with dozens more receiving warnings.