The Origins of 420

The Origin of 420

The 420 Group of Friends

In Canada, cannabis was officially recognized as socially acceptable thanks to the passing of recreational cannabis use laws. But when Cannabis wasn’t very acceptable, people had to use codes when talking about the formerly illicit substance. Some say the act of finding weed is looking for Waldo. Plausible, since weed and Waldo both begin with the same letter, but the popular Wheres Wally picture book came out ten years after the term 420 originated from the group of friends known as the Waldos. Here’s the full story…

Looking for “Waldo”

In the 1970’s in San Rafael, California, “the Waldos” were a friend group of 5 nicknamed for their favorite hang-out spot: a wall outside their school. A “treasure map” from a grower of Marijuana fell into their possession, and they began to make plans to seek out the cannabis that was supposedly found on this map. This plan included meeting at a statue at, you guessed it, 4:20 p.m. Later, this time was also utilized as a reference to the time they would meet to get high. The friends began colloquially referring to cannabis as “420,” which spread amongst friends and friends of friends.

Found in Music

Now, this may sound simple enough, but it doesn’t necessarily explain how it became as widespread as it is today. How did it go from a small group of friends in California to your playground or backyard? The Grateful Dead, then a fairly new local American rock band formed in Palo Alto, can be credited for its spread. The band was among the friends of friends of the Waldos, brought their fans together to smoke cannabis at the same time: 4:20 PM.  They did this by parading flags with the numbers 420 on it, and it got everyone curious about what it means. Once it caught on among fans, everyone started saying it.
Finding the meaning was only part of the equation that adds to 420. Finding some actual weed itself was another.

The Search Continues

Discover Cannabis Tours offer continues the search! Like the Waldo group of friends, cannabis tourism is becoming ever more pervasive as countries begin to legalize it. On October 17, 2018, Canada became the second nation in the world to fully legalize the recreational use of marijuana. With this legalization, cannabis tourism has increased tremendously. While purchasers must still be 19 years of age or older, there’s now a wide range of new entertainment options for those of age and interested in cannabis-related fun.
Needless to say, if you’re big on 420 culture, eager to learn more now that you know its origin, and you’re 19 and over, check out a cannabis tour next time you’re in Vancouver, BC. Cannabis crawls are the next big thing!
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