Going back to the Roots of 420

420 ASL Going back to the Roots of 420April 20th is now famous for pot smoking all over the world, but it wasn’t like that before. Some of you might know where the term came from, but who actually marketed and catapulted April 20th as the Official “Pot Smoking Day?”

Origins of 420

For those of you who do not know where the term “4:20” comes from here it goes. Originally several High Schoolers were getting high after class in the 1970’s. Generally their Classes ended late in the afternoon roughly at 4:20 PM. These students would then remind each other that they would see each other at 4:20 PM. They referred to the time as a “code” for when they would go and get high. These kids went off to college and little by little the term was spread throughout campuses in California. It didn’t really become popular until the Grateful Dead came to the scene where “Deadheads” followed the band all across the country and Europe consuming LSD and smoking Reefer. 420 became the term they used to identify who smokes and who doesn’t and most probably to score some smoke. I could get into the details on which bands followed and how the term spread but this is just the indication on where the term came from.

Who made April 20th Famous?

national weed day 420 pot getty Going back to the Roots of 420If you don’t know of Marc Emery (Prince of Pot), he runs the BC HEMP store in Down Town Vancouver. He explained in more detail than I how the term spread out, but he brings a good point as to who made the official day possible. According to him, the first ever April 20th celebration happened in Victoria Park in Vancouver 1994. A couple of his employees who were avid Grateful Dead followers thought it would be a good idea to throw a concert on April 20th (4/20). At first Emery thought this was a crazy idea. Smoking in public and just not giving a crap seemed like something that would attract the BC police and land them all in jail. He first told his employees that he would not support it of which they replied “We’re going to do it anyway”. That first April 20th celebration attracted some 100 people, musicians played, people smoked and no blood was shed. In fact, no police showed up either. Year after year they continued the new found tradition until 2004 when the day went viral. People from all over the world began adopting similar festivals and before you knew it; almost every single country in world celebrated 420 whether big or small. Cannabis consumers are everywhere! Last year Vancouver’s April 20th celebration attracted 20,000 smoking fans and similar to New Year’s Eve, a countdown is made. When it reaches 4:20 PM on April 20th everyone would take a unanimous toke and exhale. The way Emery describes it; “Majestic!”

What does “420” mean now?

bc 600 weed 420 Going back to the Roots of 420Martin Luther King has his day, women have their Day, so do workers, teachers and so forth. What “420” really means nowadays is that there is a culture, a people that are being persecuted for their choice of consumption. What April 20th signifies is the unity of these people. Slavery ended, Woman got their rights and even Same Sex Marriages are gaining rights. But there is one people who are still vigorously being persecuted. I call them the “Cannanites”. These are people who consume marijuana for medical reasons or recreational reasons. These are people being jailed at a staggering 800,000 a year in the US alone. These are people like you and me who’s futures are ruined due to an antiquated policy. These people are mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters that have done absolutely no harm to humanity at all. These are people who have chosen to consume their medicine and to enjoy nature’s way of saying “high”. 420 is a statement, it’s a movement, it’s a culture and it’s a people. 420 is the expression of freedom. This April 20, remember that it’s not just about getting high; it’s about so much more. This 420, we all stand together! Legalize Marijuana!
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