What is 420 Anyway?

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There is a ton of marijuana slang. The term 420 is probably one of the most well known but the origin of the term has been a mystery to many people.

The term 420 was coined by a group of teenagers in San Rafael, California a long time ago. The group called themselves the Waldos because they’d hangout at a wall outside the school (creative, we know!). In 1971, they learned about an abandoned cannabis crop and they crafted a plan to find it.

The Waldos decided that they’d meet at 4:20 p.m. at the Louis Pasteur statue at San Rafael High. The Waldos began referring to this plan with the phrase “4:20 Louis”. After several failed attempts to find the crop, they shortened their phrase to simply “4:20.” The term 4:20 eventually evolved into a code word that the teens used to mean marijuana-smoking in general.

Steve Hager of High Times is credited for taking the story about the Waldos to “mind-boggling, cult like extremes” and “suppressing” all other stories about the origin of the term. In his article “Stoner Smart or Stoner Stupid?” Hager suggested that 4:20 p.m. become the socially accepted hour of the day to get stoned and thus 4:20 spread to the masses.

You may find the phrase 420 friendly used on dating websites or social media. The term 420 friendly is a way to tell people that you’re cool with weed or someone else using it without actually mentioning marijuana.

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