Today is April the twentieth, a date cannabis enthusiasts across America mark on their calenders. The date is celebrated as a holiday for smoking weed and is referred to as “Four-Twenty”. The festivities of the day include smoking a lot of pot and generally slacking off. Across the nation there will be some huge smokeouts as the clock strikes 4:20 p.m. Among the largest of these gatherings will be University of Michigan’s annual Hash Bash and the smoke out on Colorado at Boulder’s campus. While the holiday is primarily an American observance, it is celebrated worldwide with people in Canada, Australia and New Zealand getting in on the act. 420 is more than a holiday celebrated on April twentieth its stoner lexicon for all sorts of stuff, you can say it to just add marijuana connotations to something. For example if you wanted to ask somebody discretely if their parents were okay with you smoking in the house you could say “are they 420 friendly?”.

There are all sorts of theories as to where 420 came from, and theyre all wrong, except for one. 420 is not the number of chemicals in pot. Its not the highway that the original kush pushers trafficked on. Its not the day Jim Morrison, Jimmy Hendricks, or Janis Joplyn died on. Its not any sort of police radio code. To find the origins of 420 we must travel back in time to 1971 San Rafael High School in San Rafael California.

There was a squad of stoners who would meet by a statue of Louis Pasteur at 4:20 and smoke doobies and stuff. They started to use the saying “420 Louis” as an all purpose discrete pot reference. They could use it during class to ask each other if they were down later, or if they looked stoned, or what their bud game looked like. The authenticity of this claim has been repeatedly been authenticated by High Times Magazine, a counter culture authority.

Happy 420!

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