420 Origins: Fact vs Fiction

420. The international call sign for all things weed. We all have our favorite version of the history behind 420. Some say it’s police code for smoking weed, others think it’s the day Bob Marley died. But which one is true? Does it really matter? One night after a couple bowls of my favorite sativa (Super Lemon Haze) I got curious and decided to start searching for answers behind the origin of 420.

Why Does 420 = Weed?

Let’s start with the actual origin of the 420 myth.The best source we found for “where 420 comes from” was this article from Huffpo called “420 meaning: The True Story of How April 20 Became ‘Weed Day‘. According to the article, High Times writer Steven Bloom was handed a flyer after aGrateful Dead concert that invited him to a 420 gathering, at 4:20, on 4-20! The flyer stated:

“420 started somewhere in San Rafael,  California in the late ’70s. It started as the police code for Marijuana Smoking in Progress. After local heads heard of the police call, they started using the expression 420 when referring to herb – Let’s Go 420, dude!”

The flyer got it right about the term originating from San Rafael. Turns out the origin of 420 started with a group of high school students, from San Rafael, that would meet up at 4:20. Thanks to word of mouth and this high times article the term grew into a globally accepted term synonymous for enjoying weed. As for the police code 420, that turned out to be a myth. According to Wikipedia there is no police code 420.

420 Myths

One of the stupidest myths I’ve heard of why we celebrate the term 420 is because that’s the day Hitler died. I’ve been smoking weed for over a decade, and I’ve never met a single person who sang the praises of Hitler on 420.

I have met quite a few people that believed we celebrated the holiday because they believed it was the day Bob Marley died. The truth is Bob passed away on May-11 at the young age of 36. Although Bob died on May-11 his spirit lives on through his Music. “There’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die,” -Babe Ruth from the Sandlot

Every group of friends has their explanation for why 420 means cannabis. What crazy stories have you heard? We would love to hear from you! Please tell us in a comment below, if social media is easier for you we’re active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.