Every year, cannabis consumers and patients come together on the twentieth of April to celebrate marijuana culture. As legal cannabis becomes more and more mainstream, festive events have popped up all over the country on this day. The holiday has become known as “420” but the story behind that term is relatively unknown. Do you know the actual story behind 420?
Some people think it has to do with police codes for marijuana offenses. Others believe there are 420 chemical compounds that make up the plant. But both of these theories are far from the mark! The real story behind the “420” term is actually much more random and way more fun.
What does 420 mean?
Are you ready to find out the real story behind 420? To do so, we have to take a stroll down memory lane, all the way back to the early 1970s in Marin County, California. Think beautiful beaches, tan skin, and the height of hippie culture. The subject of the story is a group of six high school guys who call themselves, to this day, the Waldos.
As the story goes, one member of the Waldos was given a treasure map created by a friend’s older brother. The treasure? A crop of marijuana growing on the Point Reyes Peninsula. The man who drew the treasure map had recently enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and was worried he would be caught harvesting his cannabis. So, he made a treasure map leading to the crop and gave permission for the Waldos to harvest what they could find.
The boys decided they would embark on an adventure together to search for the weed after school and football practice. They agreed to meet at a school statue of renowned chemist Louis Pasteur at 4:20 pm. At 4:20, the group joined together, lit up a couple joints, and were off on their first of many treasure hunts. Leading up to their mission, whenever the boys saw one of their fellow Waldos in the hallway, they reminded each other of the plans by saying, “4:20, Louis” to each other in the hallway.
Their first attempt to find the crop of marijuana was unsuccessful, so the group met, week after week, at 4:20 pm to smoke pot and continue their search. Eventually, they dropped the “Louis” part of their reminders and started using “420” as a code for their plans.
Sadly, they never did find the crop of weed. But the term “420” stuck and eventually became synonymous with anything cannabis-related, flying under the radar of teachers, parents, and other adults. The group would continue to use “420” in notes and letters to each other through the years and in conversation with friends. 420 became a ubiquitous term for all stoner culture, used to suggest a smoke session or ask if someone was cannabis-friendly, two ways the term is still widely used today.
But how did “420” go from an inside joke between a group of teenagers, shared in a suburban California town, to the phenomenon it is now?
The Waldos had multiple connections to one of the most popular bands in America at the time, the Grateful Dead, through a father that served as the band’s personal realtor and a brother who was friends with the bassist and managed the Grateful Dead’s opening acts.
The Waldos would attend Grateful Dead shows and house sit for the band members while they were on tour, getting to know, and presumably share a couple tokes with, the players. As the legend goes (and documented proof shows) the Waldo’s shared their 420 code with the members of the band and the band’s superfans, lovingly known as Dead Heads. The term was included on fliers handed out at shows, often enclosed in a cloud of smoke emitting from a hand drawn joint and used among concert goers as a way to ask each other for weed. The term continued to spread throughout stoner culture, with magazines like High Times really solidifying 420 in the cannabis consumer’s dictionary.
If you want to read the full origin story of 420, written by the Waldos themselves, you can check out their website. There you will not only find the story written by them firsthand, but also pictures of the group now and back then, and all of their documented evidence (including letters using the term “420” from nearly 50 years ago).
Celebrate with Buddy Boy’s 4/20 Sale!
If you are celebrating the 4/20 holiday in Denver, stop by one of the many Buddy Boy Brands locations to take advantage of our festive discounts. Here are the deals you have to look forward to from April 16th to April 22nd!
Buy 2 or more items from the same tier and save big!
- Assorted Keef Cola drinks
- Incredibles 100mg bars
- Mary’s Medicinals Transdermal Patches
- Incredibles Bars, 200mg
- B’s Treats Honey Sticks, 100mg 4-packs
- EndoCanna 300mg
- Endocanna Balms, 150mg
- Mary’s Medicinals Muscle Freeze, 50mg CBD
- Incredibles Bar
- EndoCanna CBD cartridge, 500mg
- EndoCanna cartridge, 250mg 1:1 CBD to THC
- Keef Cola, 10mg
- Mary’s Medicinals Transdermal Patches, 10mg THCa or 1:1 THC to CBD
- Keef Cola 80mg Keef Shots
- Mary’s Medicinals Transdermal Patches, 10mg CBD or 20mg THC
- Incredibles bars, 100mg
- Sour Gummies, 100mg
- Fruit Chews, 100mg
- Incredibles, 1:1 CBD to THC
- Mary’s Medicinals Muscle Freeze, 1.5 oz.
- Endocanna Calming Relief 1:1 Balm, 150mg
DAY OF SPECIAL
On 4/20, the first 50 customers to spend $70+ will get a free Buddy Boy 420 t-shirt!