SAN FERNANDO, CA – Last Thursday was a marijuana culture holiday. College students gathered at 4:20 p.m. and smoked weed, because it’s “Weed Day,” cannabis distributors gave discounts to their customers.
The purpose of the gathering was to reflect on how far marijuana culture in America has come. But how did this culture start? Here’s a quick look at the history of 4/20.
What’s the Meaning Behind 420?
The date and the term, 420, was lucky. Some said 420 meant a police code for cannabis possession. Others claimed that it came from Bob Dylan’s song, “Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35.”
However, a consensus has been published regarding 420. According to experts, it started with a group called “The Waldos” from San Rafael, California. One of the members’ brothers was growing weed at Point Reyes at that time. To avoid getting busted by law enforcers, he created a map and gave users permission to yield the crop.
In the fall of 1971 at precisely 4:20 p.m., “The Waldos” would gather at the statue of Louis Pasteur. They would smoke and look for the weed patch. They never found the crop, but the private session continued, same time and same place.
How Did the Term “420” Spread?
It started spreading when one of the Waldos members’ brothers became friends with the Grateful Dead bassist, Phil Lesh. They began hanging out with the band, and the term spread like wildfire.
In the early 90s, a reporter for a cannabis magazine called High Times attended the band’s concert. While at the show, someone gave him a flyer. The leaflet was encouraging people to go to the Bolinas Ridge sunset spot on 4/20 at 4:20. This event was in the High Times issue.
According to the then reporter and now the EIC of Freedom Leaf Magazine, it was the people who created the flyer turned 4/20 into a marijuana culture holiday.
How America Celebrated 4/20 This Year?
With weed, of course! The question is, how big the celebration was? It depends on the state. For instance, people in California went to Hippie Hill in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park to celebrate the marijuana pop culture. In Seattle, around 250 people were invited in the annual Hempfest. Some weed stores gave discounts to commemorate this special day.
Meanwhile, some breweries, whether or not they’re selling cannabis-based products, made 4/20 themed beers. Indeed, marijuana culture is a general principle all over the US.
How About the Politics?
Many states approved marijuana legalization campaigns. Nearly half of the US allow medical cannabis. Meanwhile, eight states officially permit the public to use MJ for recreational purposes.
However, marijuana usage is still illegal under the federal law. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made an order to review the cannabis policy as it may conflict with Pres. Trump’s agenda. Home
Security Secretary John Kelley supports Atty. Gen. Sessions’ order. He believes that marijuana is a dangerous drug that leads to other more potent drugs.
If this continues, the marijuana culture could go back into the 80s, the time when users went to jail. This will affect not only the consumers but also the cannabis industry.