The History of 420 & How You Can Celebrate It

Every year, cannabis aficionados gather to celebrate the weed holiday that falls on April 20th. There is a lot of mystery behind the history of the holiday, its exact origins, and why the date became so culturally connected to cannabis. While the facts are a little murky, here’s everything we know about the holiday as well as a convenient 420 gift guide that is sure to delight even the pickiest cannabis connoisseur.

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The Origins of 420

There is a lot of speculation surrounding the origin of 420 as a weed holiday. Most people don’t really know where it comes from or why we celebrate it, but odds are they’ve heard a few vague stories about how everything got moving. If you ask around, you’ll get a variety of answers.

Some claim it has to do with Hitler’s birthday since it shares the same date (but nobody knows why), while others claim it has to do with the specific time people drink tea in Holland (specifically, Amsterdam). Some believe it’s the number of active chemicals found in cannabis (though science has found a lot more than that). Most people believe it has to do with Bob Dylan’s “everybody must get stoned” refrain from the song “Rainy Day Woman No.12 & 35” which equals 420 when multiplied. In reality, music has a fair bit to do with the spread of the holiday, though it wasn’t Bob Dylan’s -- it was the Grateful Dead. We’ll touch more on that later.

The true origin of 420 is traced back to a couple of California teenagers who used to meet each other at 4:20 PM outside their San Rafael school every day. The teens, nicknamed “the Waldos”, coined the term in 1971 to discuss cannabis use discreetly around teachers and parents.

According to legend, it all started when a Coast Guard member abandoned a cannabis crop they could no longer care for. The Waldos received a treasure map that would supposedly lead to the crop and set out to find it. They would meet each other at the Louis Pasteur statue outside of their high school after football practice every day around 4:20 PM to search for it.

While they ultimately never found the fabled crop, The Waldos would still get together, smoke weed, and search the forest for the bud. One of the original members of the Waldos, Steve Capper, told the Huffington Post, “We would remind each other in the hallways we were supposed to meet up at 4:20. It originally started out 4:20-Louis, and we eventually dropped the Louis.”

Why 420? Most likely since it was around the time they all got out of practice and could get across the campus to meet up. However, it was also a police code for "marijuana use in progress" at that time. The two are related, so it only made sense to have a meeting for cannabis use at that time

But why is 420 celebrated as a holiday?

While the Waldos coined the term, music actually helped spread the slang term into public knowledge. As we mentioned earlier, a lot of it actually had to do with The Grateful Dead. The Waldos were connected to many of the band members and spent a lot of time around them.

Capper told the Huffington Post, “There was a place called Winterland, and we’d always be backstage running around or on stage and, of course, we’re using those phrases. When somebody passes a joint or something, ‘Hey, 420.’ So it started spreading through that community.”

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Image Credit: High Times

During a Grateful Dead show, a deadhead handed a flyer to a reporter at High Times magazine that explained the story of the Waldos and the history of the term. It said “We are going to meet at 4:20 on 4/20 for 420-ing in Marin County at the Bolinas Ridge sunset spot on Mt. Tamalpais.” and went on to discuss that 420 is a cannabis holiday to be celebrated.

Once High Times published the story, 420 became an unofficial holiday in the cannabis community. Today, the unofficial holiday is celebrated worldwide.

How To Celebrate 420

420 is a day of celebrating cannabis, its spiritual uses, and of course its medicinal uses. There are hundreds of ways to celebrate 420, but they all include partaking in cannabis and sharing it. With that in mind, make sure you cash in on the best cannabis deals in Colorado Springs for 420. See all of our 4/20 specials right here.

This year we're offering:

- $5 off 1/2 ounces of flower

- Grams of hash for $16, $17, or $18

- $5 off vape carts

- 10% off THC-infused beverages

- 10% off CBD products

- 10% off manager-select edibles

- Take $2 off any 1/8th of flower

- Free Epic Remedy 4/20 T-shirt (limited print, available only to the first 100 patients to each store)

- Free glass to the first 3 patients to shop with us at each location

- Bundle deal: Get 2 Terp Pens and a free battery for $60 OTD (save $15)

- Bundle deal: Get 2 Live Carts and a free battery for $80 OTD (save $15)

- Food trucks will be on-site at all of our stores

- Spend $100 and earn a free spin on our prize wheel to win additional prizes, like apparel, sticker bundles, keychains, and more.

- Spend $100 and get a FREE raffle ticket into our April Giveaway for a Cookies X G Pen Roam Vaporizer

- and more!

We're looking forward to celebrating this holiday with you. Until then, take it easy!

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