420 (cannabis culture)
|Observed by||Cannabis counterculture, legal reformers, entheogenic spiritualists, and general users of cannabis|
|Significance||Time/date to smoke/celebrate Cannabis|
|Date||4:20 / April 20|
|Frequency||daily / annually|
420, 4:20, or 4/20 (pronounced four-twenty) is slang in cannabis culture for the consumption of cannabis, especially smoking cannabis around the time 4:20 p.m. and also refers to cannabis-oriented celebrations that take place annually on April 20 (which is 4/20 in U.S. form).
In 1971, five high school students – Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz, and Mark Gravich – in San Rafael, California, calling themselves the Waldos because "their chosen hang-out spot was a wall outside the school", used the term in connection with a 1971 plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop that they had learned about, based on a treasure map made by the grower. 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". After several failed attempts to find the crop, the group eventually shortened their phrase to simply "4:20", which ultimately evolved into a code-word that the teens used to mean consuming cannabis.
Mike Edison says that Steven Hager of High Times was responsible for taking the story about the Waldos to "mind-boggling, cult-like extremes" and "suppressing" all other stories about the origin of the term. Hager wrote "Stoner Smart or Stoner Stupid?", in which he attributed the early spread of the phrase to Grateful Dead followers – after Reddix became a roadie for the Dead's bassist, Phil Lesh – and called for 4:20 p.m. to be the socially accepted hour of the day to consume cannabis.
April 20 has become an international counterculture holiday, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis. Many such events have a political nature to them, advocating the liberalization / legalization of cannabis. Vivian McPeak, a founder of Seattle's Hempfest states that 4/20 is "half celebration and half call to action". Paul Birch calls it a global movement and suggests that one can't stop events like these.
As marijuana continues to be decriminalized and legalized around the world, Steve DeAngelo, cannabis activist and founder of California's Harborside Health Center, notes that "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" and that he thinks that "it will always be worthy of celebration".
In North America
North American observances have been held at many locations, including:
- "Hippie Hill" in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park near the Haight-Ashbury district,
- The University of Colorado's Boulder campus,
- Ottawa, Ontario, at Parliament Hill and Major's Hill Park,
- Montreal, Quebec, at Mount Royal monument,
- Edmonton, Alberta, at the Alberta Legislature Building,
- Vancouver, British Columbia, at the Vancouver Art Gallery, but as of 2016 also at Sunset Beach.
- Washington Square Park in Manhattan, the largest and most notable of a number of gatherings and demonstrations on April 20 in New York City.
- Mile High 420 Festival in Denver's Civic Center Park
- The National Cannabis Festival in Washington D.C. has been running since 2016 and includes live music, educational sessions, and history, and local vendors.
- The University of California, Santa Cruz, where the growing size of the unofficial event there caused the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs to send an e-mail to parents in 2009 stating: "The growth in scale of this activity has become a concern for both the university and surrounding community."
In Ljubljana, Slovenia, the University of Ljubljana's student organization has carried out several annual cannabis-themed protests that have successfully contributed to the debate on cannabis status in Slovenia and the subsequent legislation proposals in 2018 by gathering responses from various political parties in Slovenia and ranking them accordingly.
In the de facto independent state of Northern Cyprus, a country that is usually associated with strict drug laws and intolerance to cannabis consumption, the first 420 event was held in the capital city, Lefkoşa. On April 20, 2017 a small group of protestors carried out an event near the parliament building and made a public statement, demanding the legalization of cannabis sale, consumption and production with state regulations. Protesters held signs with phrases like "Get your hands off my weed" and "I'm sick, I need cannabis oil".
Using 25 years of U.S. national data, one study found a 12% increase in the risk of fatal motor vehicle crash between 4:20 p.m. and midnight on April 20th compared to identical time intervals on control days. Among the subgroup of drivers less than 21 years of age, risks were 38% higher on April 20th than on control days. These findings were the subject of vigorous academic debate.    A subsequent study examined 5 years of data from all 51 local police forces covering Great Britain and found April 20 was associated with a 17.9% increase in the risk of crash relative to control days.
Signs bearing the number 420 have been frequently stolen. In Colorado, the Colorado Department of Transportation replaced the Mile Marker 420 sign on I-70 east of Denver with one reading 419.99 in an attempt to stop the thievery; however, the folklore of the 419.99 sign has caused it to be stolen, too, as well as becoming a tourist destination. As of August 2018, the sign was missing, presumed stolen. The Colorado DOT usually will not replace signs that are repeatedly taken, but began the practice of replacing further down the road after 69 mile marker signs were frequently stolen – these were replaced with 68.5 mile ones. The Idaho Department of Transportation (ITD) replaced the mile marker 420 sign on U.S. Highway 95, just south of Coeur d'Alene, with mile marker 419.9. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) implemented similar measures, but only replaced one of the two 420 signs in the state, with the remaining one being subsequently stolen. According to the Washington Post, there are eleven 420 mile markers in the US, after three replacements and one stolen and not replaced. In Goodhue County, Minnesota, officials have changed "420 St" street signs to "42x St". The mile marker 420 sign on U.S. Route 89, the only 420 marker in the state of Utah, is frequently stolen.
In 2003, California Senate Bill 420 was introduced to regulate medical marijuana use, in deliberate reference to the status of 420 in marijuana culture. An unsuccessful 2010 bill to legalize cannabis in Guam was called Bill 420.
The Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act (which if enacted would decriminalize and deschedule cannabis in the United States) was announced by Senator and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) on April 20, 2018. On January 9, 2019, H.R. 420 was introduced into the 116th Congress by Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon), named the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, which is designed to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and return regulation to the states.
Dial-code of the Czech Republic
As the country dial-code of the Czech Republic is 420 and the rate of cannabis use there is one of the highest in the world, some foreign visitors think that cannabis is legal in this Central European country. However, those smoking cannabis outdoors will be fined and possessing more than 10 grams of marijuana is considered a crime. In 2016, Snoop Dogg displayed his knowledge of marijuana on the game show, The $100,000 Pyramid. Snoop replied without delay that the country code for the Czech Republic is 420. He would later use the number as one of the dollar amounts in the "Face the Devil" bonus round of his 2017 reboot of the classic American TV game show The Joker's Wild.
- "420" (Family Guy)
- Drug subculture
- Hash Bash, held annually the first Saturday in April since 1972 at the University of Michigan
- Legality of cannabis by country
- "Daily Independent Journal from San Rafael, California". November 20, 1954. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
- Chronicle, San Francisco (1962). The San Francisco Chronicle Reader. McGraw-Hill. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
- King, Matt (April 24, 2007). "Thousands at UCSC burn one to mark cannabis holiday". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Archived from the original on April 26, 2007.
- Olivia B. Waxman (April 19, 2017). "What the Guys Who Coined '420' Think About Their Place in Marijuana History". Time. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
- "Stoner Chic Traces Origin To San Rafael – Snickering high schoolers brought `420' into lexicon". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- McKinley, Jesse (April 19, 2009). "Marijuana Advocates Point to Signs of Change". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 18, 2010. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
Mr. Hager said the significance of April 20 dates to a ritual begun in the early 1970s in which a group of Northern California teenagers smoked cannabis every day at 4:20 pm. Word of the ritual spread and expanded to a yearly event in various places. Soon, cannabis aficionados were using "420" as a code for smoking and using it as a sign-off on flyers for concerts where the drug would be plentiful. In recent years, the April 20 events have become so widespread that several colleges have discouraged students from participating.
- High Times (2012). The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook: More Than 50 Irresistible Recipes That Will Get You High. Chronicle Books. pp. 97–. ISBN 978-1-4521-0133-0. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
- "High Expectations: Marketers Hope for Buzz on 4/20". The Wall Street Journal. April 20, 2012.
- Grim, Ryan (April 20, 2009). "What 420 Means: The True Story Behind Stoners' Favorite Number". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on January 30, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
- Grim, Ryan (April 20, 2010). "420 Meaning: The True Story Of How April 20 Became 'Weed Day'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
- Alyssa Pereira (April 20, 2016). "Local originators of term 420 solve 45-year-old mystery". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Edison, Mike (2009). I Have Fun Everywhere I Go: Savage Tales of Pot, Porn, Punk Rock, Pro Wrestling, Talking Apes, Evil Bosses, Dirty Blues, American Heroes, and the Most Notorious Magazines in the World. Faber & Faber. pp. 207–. ISBN 978-0-86547-903-6. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- "Stoner Smart, or Stoner Stupid?". High Times. 2008. Archived from the original on May 14, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- Halnon, Karen Bettez (April 11, 2005). "The power of 420". Archived from the original on May 13, 2013.
- "420 event lists".
- "How marijuana's high holiday came to be". New York Post. April 20, 2017. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
- Gayle, Damien (April 19, 2015). "Thousands of cannabis users roll up in Hyde Park for annual 4/20 event". The Guardian. Archived from the original on February 27, 2017. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
- "Marijuana's big day is here: '420' celebrations ready to roll". USA Today. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
- "Does 4/20 Still Matter?". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
- "Annual 420 pot rally will be more celebration than protest: Organizers". Toronto Sun. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
- "A Huge Turn Out for 420 Day on Hippie Hill in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park " San Francisco Citizen". Sfcitizen.com. April 20, 2010. Archived from the original on April 30, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
- CU's 4/20 pot smoke-out draws crowd of 10,000 : CU News.
- "Medical marijuana expected to give momentum to CU-Boulder 4/20 event – Boulder Daily Camera". Dailycamera.com. Archived from the original on April 30, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
- Johnson, Gene. "How 4/20 ... grew ... into a 'holiday'". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
- "Denver 420 event will be a mix of marijuana politics and celebration". Retrieved April 22, 2017.
- "Pot activists to light up on Hill". Cnews.canoe.ca. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
- "Ottawa's Parliament Hill just one site for planned 4/20 protest". Digitaljournal.com. Archived from the original on May 11, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
- "420 Day – Cannabis Festival". samesun.com Samesun Nation Travel Blog. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
- "Canada's marijuana activists unite against American-style drug laws – 420 vote mobs to be held in over 10 cities across Canada on April 20th". newswire.ca CNW Group. Archived from the original on September 7, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
- "Hundreds of Tokers Flood Alberta Legislature in Protest to Push for Legalization of Marijuana". Retrieved April 22, 2013.
- Hall, Neal (May 2, 2009). "Thousands of marijuana smokers gather in Vancouver to celebrate "420"". The Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on September 10, 2014. Retrieved September 30, 2009.
- "Marijuana protest planned for the Vancouver Art Gallery despite 4/20 moving to Sunset Beach". April 19, 2016.
- Johnson, Lisa (April 20, 2016). "4/20 pot rally draws tens of thousands in Vancouver". CBC News. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
- Davies, Pete (April 21, 2010). "Washington Square Gets Its Grit Back on 420 Day". Curbed NY. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
- "Denver's new Mile High 420 Festival announces all-star lineup " Denver Post". denverpost.com. March 8, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
- Rudi Greenberg (April 18, 2019). "Weed, walking and waffles: National Cannabis Festival founder Caroline Phillips' D.C. dream day". Washington Post.
- Bookwalter, Genevieve (April 7, 2009). "Mom and Dad now know about '4/20'". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Archived from the original on April 10, 2009. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- Gayle, Damien (April 21, 2016). "Police make 20 arrests at cannabis picnic in London's Hyde Park". the Guardian. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
- Porteous, Debbie (June 12, 2008). "Police swoop on cannabis protest". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved March 31, 2009.
- "420 Protest". Channel 9 News Dunedin. February 22, 2008. Archived from the original on October 22, 2008. Retrieved October 7, 2008.
- Porteous, Debbie (July 11, 2008). "Campus arrests follow marijuana complaints (+ video)". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
- Rudd, Allison (September 26, 2008). "Moore's appeal rejected". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
- Rudd, Allison (July 22, 2008). "Lack of quorum foils cannabis vote". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
- Rudd, Allison (September 20, 2008). "OUSA general meeting promises controversy". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
- "Politični Semafor". marihuanamars. March 20, 2018. Retrieved February 3, 2018.[permanent dead link]
- Ma, Al (February 2, 2018). "Bo konoplja kmalu legalizirana?". RTVSLO. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
- "İşte KKTC'nin uyuşturucu raporu". detaykibris. June 29, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- "Meclis önünde "Elini Otumdan Çek" eylemi". yeniduzen. April 20, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
- Staples, John A.; Redelmeier, Donald A. (2018). "The April 20 cannabis celebration and fatal traffic crashes in the United States". JAMA Internal Medicine. 178 (4): 569. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.8298. PMC 5876802.
- Aydelotte, JD; Mardock, AL; Teixeira, PG; Brown, LH (2018). "Re-examining the association between "4/20" and fatal crashes - Doobie-ous data?". JAMA Internal Medicine. 178 (11): 1565. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.5856.
- Staples, John A.; Redelmeier, Donald A. (2019). "Association between April 20 cannabis celebration and fatal crashes". JAMA Internal Medicine. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.8094.
- Harper, S; Palayew, A (2019). "The annual cannabis holiday and fatal traffic crashes". Injury Prevention: pii: injuryprev-2018-043068. doi:10.1136/injuryprev-2018-043068.
- Staples, John A.; Redelmeier, Donald A. (2019). "Crashes on cannabis celebration day". Injury Prevention: pii: injuryprev-2019-043262. doi:10.1136/injuryprev-2019-043262.
- Vandoros, S; Kawachi, I (2019). "The relative risk of motor vehicle collision on cannabis celebration day in Great Britain". Accid Anal Prev. 128: 248–252. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2019.02.013.
- "State alters 420 MM sign to thwart thieves". USA Today. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
- "Stratton, Colorado: 419.99 Mile Marker". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- Keyser, Hannah (August 20, 2015). "Stoners Keep Stealing 420 Mile Markers, So Some States Have Replaced Them With 419.9". Mental Floss. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- "Idaho replaces mile marker 420 with 419.9 to thwart stoners". KTVB. Archived from the original on August 20, 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
- Jacobs, Julia (January 12, 2019). "Washington State Wants to Stop Theft of Mile 420 Signs. Its Solution? Mile 419.9". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
- Ingraham, Christopher (August 20, 2015). "A map of the remaining 420-mile markers in the U.S." Washington Post. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- "County finds fix for missing 420 signs". Post-Bulletin. Archived from the original on April 30, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
- Kelly Keiter (August 26, 2015). "Officials say theft of '420' road signs no laughing matter". Salt Lake City: KSTU.
- Only one shows up for pot bill (July 15, 2010). "Only one shows up for pot bill". Mvguam.com. Archived from the original on July 15, 2015. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
- Guild, Blair (April 20, 2018). "On 4/20, Sen. Schumer introduces bill to decriminalize marijuana". CBS News. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- Gstalter, Morgan (June 28, 2018). "Schumer unveils bill to decriminalize marijuana". The Hill. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- Tom Angell (January 9, 2019). "New Congressional Marijuana Bill Is Actually Numbered H.R. 420". Marijuana Moment – via Forbes.
- World Drug Report 2016: Prevalence of drug use in the general population (XLS) (Report). United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. 2016.
- Czech Republic: Country Drug Report (PDF) (Report). European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. 2017.
- "5 Myths About Cannabis in the Czech Republic". 420 Meta. May 9, 2016. Archived from the original on August 27, 2017. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
- "Snoop Dogg Shows Off His Impressive Marijuana Knowledge With Martha Stewart on '$100,000 Pyramid'". Entertainment Tonight.
- "D.C. mayor offers pot activist Tag 420 for his efforts". Washington Post.
- Media related to 420 (cannabis culture) at Wikimedia Commons