420 – How Did It All Begin?
Happy 4-20, brothers and sisters!
And while we will all celebrate in our own ways (though still basically the SAME way, if you follow me) – it’s important to realize how the whole “420″ thing got started.
As you might have expected, it was a bunch of stoners in southern California, LOL!
According to Steven Hager, editor of High Times, the term ’420′ originated at San Rafael High School, in 1971, among a group of about a dozen pot-smoking guys, who called themselves the “Waldos”. The term ’420′ was shorthand for the time of day the group would meet, at the campus statue of Louis Pasteur, to smoke pot. They would constantly greet each other in the halls or in class, by saying “420 Louis!”.
The term was one of many invented by the group, but it was the one that caught on. “It was just a joke, but it came to mean all kinds of things, like `Do you have any?’ or `Do I look stoned?’” Hagar said. “Parents and teachers wouldn’t know what we were talking about.”
The term took root, and flourished, and spread beyond San Rafael with the assistance of the Grateful Dead and their dedicated cohort of pot-smoking fans. The “Waldos” decided to assert their claim to the history of the term – after decades of watching it spread, mutate, and be appropriated by commercial interests. The Waldos contacted Hager, and presented him with evidence of 420′s history, primarily a collection of postmarked letters from the early ’70s with lots of mention of ’420′.
Now that you know the origin, it should mean a little more to you as you celebrate ’420′!