What-is-420 Frisco Labs

What is 420?

420 History

420, 4:20 or 4/20 (pronounced four-twenty) is cannabis culture slang for marijuana and hashish consumption, especially smoking around the time 4:20 pm (16:20). But hey, who's counting the minutes, right?! It's always 4:20 somewhere!

It also refers to cannabis-oriented celebrations that take place annually on April 20 (4/20 in U.S. and Canadian date form). It also refers to the grooviest cannabis-oriented celebrations that go down every year on April 20 (4/20 in good ol' U.S. and Canadian date form).

420 Roots

Back in 1971, five groovy high school students in San Rafael, California, busted out the term "4:20" while scheming to hunt down an abandoned cannabis crop with a treasure map drawn by the grower.

The Waldos named themselves after their hang-out spot outside the school - Louis Pasteur statue at San Rafael High School at 4:20 pm. The Waldos had this whole '4:20 Louis' thing going on. But after a bunch of failed tries hunting for the stash, they ditched the 'Louis' and just stuck with '4:20'. That turned into their secret lingo for puffing on the green stuff!🌿 And let's just say, their 4:20 sessions were definitely a hit with the whole crew!

Steven Hager of High Times popularized the story of the Waldos. Legend has it that Steven Hager of High Times made the story of the Waldos all the rage. The initial mention in High Times of 4:20 smoking and a 4/20 holiday popped up in May 1991, mistakenly linking the term to a police code; this led to many false tales taking root. While the true origin of 4:20 remains a mystery, the legend of the Waldos lives on in stoner lore.

Connection to the Waldos appeared in December 1998. Hager attributed the early spread of the phrase to Grateful Dead followers after "Waldo" Reddix became a roadie for the Grateful Dead's bassist, Phil Lesh and called for 4:20 pm to be the socially accepted time of the day to consume cannabis. Little did they know that the phrase would take on a life of its own, becoming a legendary part of counterculture history.

Another San Rafael group claims to have originated the term before the Waldos. Legend has it that a different San Rafael crew beat the Waldos to the punch in coining the term.

Created in 1989, the reform organization Cannabis Action Network, associated with High Times, is often credited for giving to 420 and the date April 20 marked elements of political and cultural protest, organizing rallies on that date and assisting other groups in setting up other events. If you're looking to shake up the status quo, look no further than the reform organization Cannabis Action Network, born in the rebellious year of 1989.

420 and Explore Global Perspectives on the Observance of April 20.

April 20 has become an international counterculture holiday based on the celebration and consumption of cannabis. April 20 has become an international counterculture holiday based on the celebration and consumption of cannabis.

Events typically advocate for cannabis liberalization and legalization. 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 cannot stop events like these. These events are not your average gathering - they're a mix of celebration and activism!

Many marijuana users protest in civil disobedience by gathering in public to smoke at 4:20 pm. Forget about the old saying 'smoke 'em if you got 'em', around 4:20 pm, you'll find many marijuana users embracing civil disobedience by puffing away in public.

As marijuana continues to be decriminalized and legalized around the world, cannabis activist Steve DeAngelo 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" which "will always be worthy of celebration". And boy, do we love a good celebration! Especially when it involves a plant that knows how to party.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.