420 is never about just getting high. No matter what any mainstream media source or your cousin on tokes too hard on Thanksgiving says.
Its origin is about as smoky as the occasionally muddled mission behind the day. But with events like the National Cannabis Festival and Charm City SmokeFest on the horizon, we’re here to clear that up!
If anything, 420 is a jovial holiday that packages celebration and protest. Replenish your stash with deals galore, and let’s explore this iconic day for cannabis culture.
Here’s how medicating and loving access to cannabis as a community can be civil disobedience.
Down Memory Lane: the True Origin of 420
Occasionally called “Weed Day” (probably by a Jon Snow type who knows nothing of cannabis), 420 has a collection of origins. The truth is that all the parts people know come together to make the actual history.
The Waldos are an iconic piece to the historical puzzle of April 20. Revealing their identities in the early 1990s, they were a group of friends who connected to over cannabis while they were in high school in 1971. Legend has it that they found a map to a secret weed grow and would meet at 4:20PM after school to go hunting for it.
That checked out as true.
Citizens of San Rafael, California, they also lived where the Grateful Dead lived and were fans. So while attending their concerts, the Waldos’ 420 lingo spread within the community. And eventually led to a High Times editor writing up on it with help from the Waldos.
Now, one of the Waldos did mention that the police code theory was floating around 15 years before they used it. But it isn’t the code officers actually used for busting a sesh.
The cops come into the picture due to a flier that circulated during a Grateful Dead concert. This is the true catalyst to the celebration.
But overall, it’s all connected.
Celebration? Protest? Why Not Both!
“Even if our activist work were complete, 420 morphs from a statement of conscience to a celebration of acceptance, a celebration of victory, a celebration of our amazing connection with this plant.”
– Steve DeAngelo, proclaimed father of the cannabis industry
April 20 is an impactful day for more than patients and adult-use patrons. It’s a common place holiday that even those still consumed with reefer madness are aware of. It puts our love for this natural medicine in the forefront of people worldwide and is unavoidable for anyone with access to media.
Thus, it’s a jovial celebration of civil disobedience. Because though cannabis is legal in Maryland, other states and Canada, it’s still illegal on a federal level which affects our civil rights.
And there are people, especially people of color, rotting in prison and disconnected from their families because of it.
Remember — inclusivity makes our community better.
It’s an opportunity to bring the good and ugly to the forefront and start conversations while we medicate with friends.
And since 420 is on Easter weekend, it opens the door to have conversations with our family and peers to reshape the narrative about it.
Now come and join us for the festivities!
If anything, 420 is about celebrating community, change and just… cannabis. Our lives have been improved and typically saved by this plant. It’s an opportunity to combine our positive energy and share it with the places we occupy when we celebrate.
So with that said, we want to hear your 420 stories!
Not just on social media — stop by our table at the National Cannabis Festival and stop us if you see us walking around Charm City Smoke Fest!