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The History Of 420
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The History Of 420

Posted: March 29, 2022

You may have heard the phrase 4:20 being used by people involved in or in reference to cannabis culture and there is much speculation about what it means and its origins. In this blog we will investigate the story of 4:20 and how it originally started spreading.

As research into the benefits of the cannabis plant continues, more and more people are turning to cannabis based products. Cannabis is recognised as a beneficial product for many ailments, illnesses and wellness reasons. At ICE Headshop we stock a large range of legal cannabis products including things like CBD oils, CBD cosmetics and cannabis seeds.

What is 4:20?

The term 4:20 is sometimes used today by pot smokers and cannabis aficionados in reference to the 'ideal' or 'socially acceptable' time of day to begin smoking marijuana but this is not the original reason for the term 4:20.

4:20 is used for a number of reasons (mostly to do with the use of the weed plant.) 4:20 is associated with:

  • a date
  • a time of day
  • as a code word
  • many other marijuana related activities and rituals

Although speculations suggest that it was the Californian police code for smoking pot, this story turns out to be nonsense. There are many tall tales of the origins of 4:20 and the stories surrounding it add more opportunities for interesting conversation and debate between marijuana users.

Marijuana remains illegal in many countries around the globe although many progressive countries and states have started legalising due to sufficient scientific evidence on the benefits of marijuana and associated products such as CBD.

4:20 is now also known as international weed day, let us take a look at why...

Why is 4:20 on 20th April?

20th April has become recognised as international weed day because of the escalation of the 4:20 myths, legends and rumours. The ritual spread across the world from high school students in San Francisco in the 1970's supposedly from the San Rafael high school.

On 20th April across the globe, people gather to smoke pot and celebrate the 'drug' marijuana and marijuana culture. The highest profile event in the UK takes place in Hyde Park in London where thousands congregate to enjoy a smoke.

Did you know?

Marijuana was banned in 1928 in the UK and medicinal use was only outlawed in the late 70's. Considering the ancient history of marijuana use (including religious, shamanic and ceremonial uses) this ban has happened pretty recently. Many years of research into the medicinal benefits of marijuana have been lost and only now are we beginning to discover the potential of this incredible plant.

What are the origins of 4:20?

Many sources state that the real origin of 4:20 started back in 1978 when five students from San Rafael high school in Marin County, California would meet after practising after-school sports, right by the school's Louis Pasteur statue at 4:20pm to smoke marijuana.

4:20 was the perfect meeting time for them to smoke weed, it was after school sports but early enough that their parents weren't yet home, this gave them a window of unsupervised freedom. 4:20 caught on as a code word for smoking weed by high schoolers and was later adopted as an unofficial holiday.

This group of good friends called themselves the waldos because their chosen hang out spot was by a wall outside of the San Rafael school. This group consisted of Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz and Mark Gravitch, little did they know that this clandestine ritual would turn out to be a worldwide phenomenon.

Believe it or not, the band The Grateful Dead are said to have helped popularise the term 4:20. On 28th December 1990 a bunch of Grateful Dead "deadheads" handed out flyers inviting people to "smoke 420" on April 20 at 4:20pm. One of these flyers ended up in the hands of Steve Bloom (a former 'High Times' magazine editor). High Times has been an authority on cannabis culture since 1974 and continued to reference the number 4:20 since re-printing that original flyer.

How do people celebrate 4:20 today?

Today, all around the globe people celebrate the 4:20 legend by coming together on the 20th April and smoking marijuana and using other cannabis based products. People adorn cannabis clothing, sing, dance and enjoy the freedom and high that comes from marijuana and the cannabis culture. People protest and demonstrate peacefully for legalisation and their rights to use this medicinal plant.

Celebrating 4:20 doesn't mean you have to get high. Going to an April 4:20 gathering is a light-hearted and open-minded day out and it is possible to meet some very interesting people. If you don't fancy that much there are plenty of quality "stoner cult classic" movies to watch, alternative and legal cannabis products to use and you can simply discuss marijuana use and raise awareness about and learn about a much demonised product, medicine and master plant.

Shop CBD products for 4:20

As much as we know, 4:20 does stem from one group of high schoolers from San Rafael high school. This legendary tale is built upon some facts and we can still celebrate it today.

There is much stigma surrounding the drug but as we move into 2022 we can support the 4:20 tradition legally with alternative products and in turn support the medicinal cannabis industry so that people can be without pain and heal their ailments as we develop our viewpoint on marijuana for the better.

Get ready for 4:20, 2022 with our huge range of legal cannabis products and accessories. At ICE Headshop we stock high quality CBD products as well as cannabis seeds and other merchandise.

Disclaimer: Please note that you must be 18 years or older to purchase CBD products. All claims and effects of CBD have been regulated by the MHRA since 2016 and distributors require a license from the MHRA to make any medical claims. Claims are opinion based and non-scientific, and while we may discuss the opinions people share, they are not our own. Our CBD is not intended to treat, cure or prevent disease. Although we can advocate its calming & healthy properties it is in no way intended for medicinal use.