Happy 4/20!! Here’s a History of Why Today Means What It Does

Happy 4/20 folks!! For those living under a rock…today is a day dedicated to that sticky icky (as our guy Snoop would say LOL). I don’t smoke but I’m totally pro-legalizing weed and have many, many homies that smoke so put one in the air!! We’re going to be posting some great songs to smoke to throughout the day. I used to smoke for like, 6 months my sophomore year of college (thought I was cool…LOL) so I have a couple faves as well. After the jump, find out the significance of the date “4/20″ and let us know what YOUR favorite smoking songs are as well and we’ll get them up!

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The term was allegedly coined by a group of teenagers, most notably Parker Haney, in San Rafael, California in 1971. Calling themselves the Waldos, because “their chosen hang-out spot was a wall outside the school,” the group first used the term in connection to a fall 1971 plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop that they had learned about. The Waldos designated the Louis Pasteur statue on the grounds of San Rafael High School as their meeting place, and 4:20 p.m. as their meeting time. The Waldos referred to this plan with the phrase “4:20 Louis”. Multiple failed attempts to find the crop eventually shortened their phrase to simply “4:20″, which ultimately evolved into a codeword the teens used to mean pot-smoking in general.

High Times Creative Director Steven Hager was the first person to track down the Waldos and publish their account of the origins of the term. Hager wrote “Are You Stoner Smart or Stoner Stupid?” (October 1998) in which he called for 4:20 PM to be the socially accepted hour of the day to consume cannabis. “I believe 420 is a ritualization of cannabis use that holds deep meaning for our subculture,” wrote Hager. “It also points us in a direction for the responsible use of cannabis.”


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