Have you ever wondered what 420 really means? If you have then we got you covered with the most interesting but little-known facts about this quirky marijuana number. Read on to get the facts now
1. 4:20 is tea time in Holland
Almost every marijuana lover dreams of going to Amsterdam, where all the amazing cannabis strains are grown. It’s also a fact that recreational and medical cannabis is openly used in Holland this is why our first 420 fact is all about marijuana use in the country.
A little-known fact about 420 is that it is the time when Dutch people drink their afternoon tea. Dutch tea is a mixture of the finest flavors including mango, raspberry, cinnamon, and orange. The most popular tea flavors are comparable to the flavors and aromas of the finest cannabis strains.
Dutch tea is consumed in homes as well as in tea houses in the city and these shops are situated side by side with coffee shops. Now, coffee shops are not your ordinary Starbucks in The Netherlands. These are places where you can buy and consume cannabis freely.
So remember, tea time in Holland is also when cannabis consumers take their afternoon dose in Dutch coffeeshops.
2. There’s no police code for smoking weed
There’s a lot of rumors that California’s police code for smoking or possession of weed is 420. But if you do a little search online, you’ll find out that this is nothing but a wild rumor. Stanford has compiled a complete list of police radio codes and the following codes exist.
11357a is the code for possession of hashish. 11357b is the possession of hashish of less than an ounce while possession for more than an ounce is 11357c. Reporting illegal cannabis cultivation is 11358, possession for sales is 11359 and sale or transportation is 11360.
If you hear these codes used in movies or on TV or in the streets, you’ll already know that police are talking about marijuana and are probably ready to bust.
3. From a lost yellow flyer of cannabis
Also curious about the origins of 420, Huffington Post also made their own research and has found the answer in a very unlikely manner: on a patch of cannabis in a California forest in Point Reyes.
Those who knew about the flyer said that it all started Christmas week in 1990 in Oakland when Steven Bloom was at The Lot. This is a venue where hippies gather before a Grateful Dead concert. Bloom was minding his own business when a fan gave him a yellow flyer.
The flyer was an invitation to meet at 4:20 PM on 4/20. It further said that this is an event for “420-ing.” possibly a term for smoking or consuming weed. The venue? The Bolinas Ridge in Marin Country, ground zero for everything related to marijuana.
The 420ers were to meet at the sunset spot along the ridge on Mt. Tamalpais. Steven Bloom dug up this precious flyer and sent this to the Huffington Post. And that’s not all. The flyer also contained a short story about 420.
The story said that the number 420 began in San Rafael, California sometime in the late 70s. The story mentioned that 420 was the code for marijuana smoking in progress and after local heads found out about this, they used the expression to refer to marijuana use. This is why you might hear people inviting their friends for a good smoke saying “Let’s go 420!”
Meanwhile, Bloom also checked if the information on the flyer was right. He did his own study and found out that in High Times issue dated May 1991, there was information that can disprove the history stated on the yellow flyer.
420 has nothing to do with a police code but the part about San Rafael was true. The story goes, a group of high school friends from San Rafael High School called themselves as the Waldos. The five friends wanted to hang out in their usual spot at a wall right outside their school. It was a lovely school day in 1971.
Huffington Post interviewed two of the Waldos members Waldo Steve, Waldo Dave and Dave’s brother Patrick. The group never thought that their escapade that day would turn into a worldwide weed phenomenon. They met at the statue of Louis Pasteur at the front of their school and decided to look for a secret cannabis garden in the nearby Point Reyes.
4. How to say “420”
As much as 420 celebrations and events are very popular, people are still unaware as to how this term is pronounced. No, it’s not four hundred and twenty or forty-two hundred but it’s four-twenty.
Some people make a mistake as to how 420 is pronounced leading to errors in sending the message across. So when you spot a fellow cannabis lover saying the term incorrectly, take time to correct him. What are fellow 420ers for?
5. The legend of the Pulp Fiction clocks
People who watched Quentin Tarantino’s movie Pulp Fiction say that if you check out all the clocks in the pawnshop scenes of the film, you’ll find that all of these are set to 4:20. There is a grain of truth in this information because indeed, all the clocks in the pawnshop are set to 4:20 but movie topes say that in at least two scenes, the clocks were set in another time.
One scene called the “Bonnie Situation” showed Jimmy Vince and Jules drinking coffee in the kitchen. The kitchen clock showed 5:15. In another scene when the two retrieved a briefcase, the clock reads 7:22 AM.
Were the pawnshop clocks stuck? No one knows but it was interesting that these clocks were at 420 and not the usual 10:10 display which is commonly used to show off a clock’s hands.
6. California medical marijuana law SB420
The term 420 is very significant to medical marijuana users in California. In 2003, the marijuana law was approved and was called SB420. Head of the Americans for Safe Access Steph Sherer said that it must have been a staffer who was responsible for the term.
However, staffers of California’s legislative arm said that the use of 420 for the bill is a mystery. They had a clue though because lead assembly sponsor Mark Leno and Senate sponsor John Vasconcellos are both aware of what the term meant. Till today, no one confessed of this so-called legislative coding error.
7. Craigslist 420 searches
Craigslist is the site for all things that you can buy and because of the popularity of marijuana, you can now use the term 420 to search for anything marijuana-related. This was tested by marijuana users.
They used Craigslist to look for roommates who also use marijuana. They searched for 420-friendly roommates and voila! They had a long list of people who were also looking for the same thing!
8. The Louis Pasteur statue
Back to the Waldos 420 escapade, the statue of Louis Pasteur in front of San Rafael High School played a huge role in the group’s 4:20 escapades. The Waldos decided to meet at the statue at 4:20 to start the hunt.
Now the members of the Waldos were all athletes and had sports practice after school. But despite this, they still decided to meet at the statue after practice.
It was the fall of 1971 and was harvest time. The group got word from friends that a Coast Guard member was unable to take care of his crops. They also learned that this so-called marijuana garden is located around the Point Reyes Peninsula Coast Guard post. And with a trusty map, the Waldos started on their 420 adventure.
An interview of two of the Waldos members revealed that before the hunt started, they would see each other in the hallways and they would secretly remind each other of the meeting. They would say “420” but they recalled that it was supposed to be 4:20-Louis until they decided to drop the name Louis and just use 420 instead.
They had several attempts to look for the delicious crop but these were unsuccessful. They kept meeting at the Louis Pasteur statue at 4:20 and Waldo Steve said that afterward, they would get in his ’66 Chevy Impala and smoke weed. They would smoke as they drove to Point Reyes and still smoked pot the entire time they were in the woods.
Did the Waldos find the marijuana garden? According to Steve, they never really found the patch. They tried week after week until this has become automatic for them. They used 420 under the noses of their teachers and parents, no one suspected anything.
9. Where are the Waldos now?
Of course, the Waldos are proud of coining the 420 terms but they claim that they did not earn a cent in anything related to the word. They were simply happy that they are recognized wherever they go. They also said that they have friends who brag that they know one of the members of the Waldos. They even narrated that they were popular in Cannabis Cup events in the country and abroad.
Waldo Dave now works for Waldo Steve as a credit analyst. Steve owns a lending firm and has lost money to Bernie Madoff. Other three members are now living their lives successfully as well.
Steve said that one of them is the marketing head of a winery in Napa Valley and another one works in a printing and graphic design company. Still, another member is in a roofing company. Steve keeps in touch of all of them; he says that he rarely smokes weed now because he runs his business and he has to stay focused.
10. High Times purchased web domain called 420.com
The early 1990s, High Times brought the domain 420.com. Now, 420.com is the oldest marijuana-related website. It has been years after this site was abandoned but now it is now up and running with more updated content.
According to the site, 420.com is now undergoing a transformation. It recommends visitors to sign up for their newsletter to get updated information about their content. 420.com now serves as a repository of articles about marijuana including posts and blogs from Forbes, Rolling Stone, MJ Biz Daily, and Business Insider. It’s also where you can find updated information about popular cannabis stocks, in case you want to invest.
11. 420 in Seattle Hempfest
420 is celebrated all over the world. It has been recognized as a counterculture holiday everywhere. Some of the 420 events have a colorful political nature supporting liberalization or legalization of marijuana.
Take the Seattle Hempfest which is known as a celebration and a call to action, according to founder Vivian McPeak. During the Seattle Hempfest, participants join peaceful events in the city but some gatherings could become very rowdy as people push their rights for the legalization of weed.
In Seattle, people gather to different places in the city as early as the wee hours of the morning but light their joints and pipes together at 4:20 PM.
12. 420 victory and acceptance
In California, where recreational and medicinal weed is legal, 420 is the day to celebrate and accept the connection of humans with the marijuana plant. Steve DeAngelo of Harborside Health Center says that even if their works of activism were complete, 420 will become a celebration of victory and acceptance. He further says that this day will always be worth celebrating.
13. 420 celebration locations in North America
420 participants travel far and wide to join different 420 celebrations in North America. The most prominent locations include the “Hippie Hill” in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. This very popular 420 area is near the Haight –Ashbury district. During this celebration, different events happen at the same time.
You’ll find musical performances, shops, seminars, booths, and contests all happening at the same time. People from different states in the US come to Hippie Hill to celebrate and light up all together come 4:20 PM.
The University of Colorado’s Boulder Campus is the best place to be in Colorado on 420. Not only are there musical events, but you will also find trade shows, shops for marijuana accessories, weed, growing accessories, and merchandise.
You can also expect discounts and special offers from dispensaries and seed banks. This is the best time to shop for great cannabis-related products.
Aside from Hippie Hill, the Mile High festival is also held in Colorado at the Denver’s Civic Center Park. This is a jam-packed 420 event with music, shops, contests and booths to enjoy.
14. 420 celebrations in Canada
Parliament Hill and Major’s Hill Park in Ottawa, Ontario, Mount Royal monument in Montreal, Quebec, Alberta Legislature Building in Edmonton. Alberta and the Vancouver Art Gallery and Sunset Beach in Vancouver, British Columbia are just some of the top places to check outcome 420 when you’re in Canada.
Canadian’s celebrate 420 openly because recreational and medicinal cannabis is legal in the country. It was not too long ago when medical cannabis is the only type of marijuana allowed. But with the persistence of 420 supporters, a new law regarding marijuana use has been approved in 2018.
420 is celebrated in every province with musical shows, discounts, and deals from special cannabis shops, contests, and other cannabis-related events. When you come to visit during 420, you’ll be surprised as to how many people smoke weed in Canada. But of course, 420 may be fun but the regulations regarding cannabis use and possession should always be enforced.
15. 420 in Washington DC
In the nation’s capital, The National Cannabis Festival is held since 2016. This yearly event comes with live music, booths, conventions, and contests.
In a state where cannabis growing, consumption and possession are allowed, you’ll find a large number of good strains as well as medical and recreational strains. Local vendors offer discounts and special deals for cannabis products, paraphernalia, and smoking accessories.
16. 420 celebrations in London
Londoners celebrate 420 in Hyde Park. This is where concerts of popular artists and supporters of marijuana happen and where you will also find booths, concerts, and educational activities.
420 events don’t happen in a day. It usually starts days before the event and concludes on the 20th. If you plan to visit London at this time, you will find it hard to book flights and hotel accommodations because of so many tourists trying to get in the city. So book early.
17. 420 celebrations in New Zealand
In New Zealand, you should visit the University of Otago to celebrate with locals come 420. This is where students and locals come to have days of fun including joining concerts, checking out booths, purchasing all kinds of weed and cannabis paraphernalia and more.
18. 420 in Slovenia
In the city of Ljubljana in Slovenia, a student organization has sponsored several yearly cannabis-themed rallies that have led to the debate of cannabis use in the country. New proposals for legislation have been submitted in 2018. These were from different responses from the many political parties in the country.
This is actually what happens in most 420 celebrations especially in countries with strict anti-marijuana laws. People who support cannabis have become more vocal in their plight for the legalization of cannabis.
19. Traffic safety during 420 events
According to data gathered in the US during 420 celebrations, there was a 12% increase in the risk for vehicle collisions between 4:20 PM and midnight during April 20. This data is comparable to other time intervals on other days.
Drivers who are less than 21 years of age are at risk with a 38% higher risk in the US. Meanwhile, a similar study was conducted in 51 local police departments covering Great Britain. This study also showed almost the same results during April 20. There was an increase of 17.9% in crashes happening on 420 from 4:20 to midnight of the same day.
20. Stolen 420 signs
This next 420 fact is unbelievable but it’s no doubt disturbing. Because of marijuana users’ obsession with the 420 events, street and traffic signs that bear the number are usually stolen as souvenirs. This is very common in Colorado that the Colorado Department of Transportation has changed the sign of the Mile Marker found on 1-70 east of Denver to 419.99. This signage has become a very popular 420 tourist destination in the area and in August 2018, the sign was once again stolen.
Meanwhile, the Idaho Department of Transportation has replaced the 420-mile marker sign along the US Highway 95 along the south of Coeur d’Alene with the sign that said 419.99. This practice was also implemented in Washington State.
The Washington Post has counted that there are eleven 420 mile marker signage in the US. This was after three replaced signs and one stolen sign and never replaced.
21. Czech Republic dial-code
The country code for calling the Czech Republic is 420. It is not so surprising that the rate of cannabis users in this country is among the highest anywhere. Snoop Dog, rapper, businessman and supporter of marijuana legalization, surprised everyone in the game show $100,000 Pyramid when asked the dialing code for the Czech Republic. Snoop smoothly answered 420.
22. 420 license plate in D.C.
After the success of the Washington DC’s Initiative 71 in an effort to legalize cannabis 2014, Mayor Muriel Bowser awarded the license plate bearing the number 420 to Adam Eldinger, campaign leader. In other countries, you may ask for the number 420 to be your license plate number but with a price.
23. The number of chemicals in marijuana
Meanwhile, many cannabis enthusiasts still believe the myth that 420 is the number of cannabis compounds. However, it’s now clear that there are innumerable compounds including terpenes and other chemicals in weed. All these contribute to the impressive effects and delicious flavors of marijuana strains we have grown to love today.