420: The Amazing Story Behind A Unique Holiday

Written By: Daniel Cina 

In the realm of cannabis culture, the day of 420 holds the most special significance. It’s a day where all of our community gathers in celebration of our favorite plant. Starting out as an unofficial holiday during a time of stronger stigmatization of the plant, the day of April 20th over the years has grown to be a call to cannabis enthusiasts all over the world to join together in support and celebration of the herb.420 is a celebration of the cannabis plant

420 is an amazing highlight in the long and storied history of the plant, and today in the spirit of the upcoming holiday we will be re-telling the history of 420. Like many amazing moments in cannabis history the origin of this holiday is a story that truly encapsulates the spirit of cannabis culture that continues to thrive until this day. 

Potential Origins 

There are numerous legends and potential origins surrounding 420 including that it’s a secret code from a Bob Dylan song, a code for people smoking cannabis on police scanners, and even an excerpt from a 1939 H.P. Lovecraft story. While 420 is a holiday surrounded in mysterious tall tales and legends, many of these have been debunked over the years. 

While we may never truly be able to pinpoint the exact origin of 420, the most agreed upon story behind this holiday’s origins begins with 5 friends in the 1970’s at San Rafael High School in Marin County California.

The 420 Story 

San Rafael highschool is the potential origin place of 420This group of friends known as the Waldos (referencing the wall they would sit on) would meet at 4:20 to smoke cannabis. Soon enough their meeting time became a code for them referencing smoking cannabis, which soon spread across their school. 

As the years went by, the 420 phenomenon gained momentum, spreading beyond the confines of high school campuses. It found its way into cannabis culture, becoming a rallying cry for enthusiasts and activists alike, and even being promoted by bands such as The Grateful Dead. As a result 420 became the holiday it is today, but that’s not the end of the story because there’s one more legend surrounding the origin of this holiday.

The 420 Legend 

The most popular legend surrounding the origin story still has to do with the Waldos but their story has a twist that, while contested, has been claimed to be true by all 5 members of the group. According to legend there was another reason the Waldos gathered at that time besides smoking cannabis. Allegedly the group learned of a recently abandoned cannabis farm near Point Reyes, and so their meeting time  was not just for cannabis consumption, but to engage in a search for a legendary secret cannabis stash.

Point Reyes was the alleged location of an abandoned cannabis farm that was the cause of the Waldos 420 search timeThe secret abandoned cannabis farm was supposedly planted by a classmate’s brother-in-law who was a member of the coast guard. He then abandoned the farm when becoming worried of being found out, but he drew a map for his younger brother-in-law to find it. That classmate allegedly gave the map to the Waldos.

Despite never finding the abandoned farm the Waldos unintentionally found another treasure. The widespread popularity of their code name for cannabis propelled the 420 holiday into what it is known for today. 

The 420 Story Continues 

Whether the story of a stoner treasure hunt is fact or fiction, it is something that gave the cannabis movement its very own holiday of appreciation. Since the 1970’s 420 has become a day that invites stoners to partake in some herb to celebrate the cannabis movement, the community, and the plant itself. 

It is truly a holiday that brings the good vibes with it, and so it is a day to gather your best buds to make the day an elevating adventure of your own choosing. Follow where the vibes take you and make some new 420 legends! 

Before you go and elevate the day away on your 420 adventure, make sure to stop by your local Nectar to make sure you are fully supplied on flower, concentrates, edibles, cartridges and the rest of our immense selection of cannabis products. Make sure you also stay tuned for all of our awesome deals that will be available the entire 420 week so you have plenty of opportunities to go make some memories! 

** This article is a re-telling of cannabis history and purely educational, Nectar does not endorse in any way under-age cannabis consumption**

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