happy 420

4/20 is behind us and what a great day it was, here in Amsterdam we don’t hold back on celebrating.

This year, stoners from all over the world came together in Amsterdam for various reefer madness get-togethers.

Amsterdam 420 Festival 

The Amsterdam 420 Festival is just one of these events where you can participate in cannabis friendly activities, pro-pot rallies, and jamming to some Bob Marley. What more could you ask for? As the sun goes down here in Amsterdam it’s not the end of your toking just yet. You can leisurely stroll into one of the awesome coffeeshops and continue your toking all night long or perhaps enjoy a midnight snack of a spacecake. I don’t like to brag, but we have it pretty good here in Amsterdam.

420 and pot

Nowadays just about everyone, whether they have ever smoked pot or not, recognize the affiliation of the numbers 420 and pot. But where did the connection between them really come from anyway? It’s not like the numbers directly correlate with marijuana. Marijuana doesn’t have 420 chemical compounds, it actually has 315. I dug around a bit and, came up with some pretty interesting myths, and above all found quite a reasonable story about how 420 became, well, 420.

the early 1970s

It all started back in the early 1970s in San Rafael, California. A group of teens would hang out by a wall outside of their high school so they were known as the Waldos. They had gotten word of a Coast Guard member that couldn’t tend his crop anymore close to the Point Reys Peninsula Coast Guard station. Somehow they got a “treasure map” where the crop was supposedly located and they were determined to find it.

Louis Pasteur statue

The Waldos decided to meet each other after practice in front of the Louis Pasteur statue at 4:20 to begin their hunt. One of the Waldos said they would remind each other in the hallways during school to meet up by saying 4:20. They said they did it week after week; smoking together all they way out to Pt. Reyes while looking for the supposititious crop. They never did find the patch, but they say that looking for it was half the fun.

The term Four-Twenty

Nonetheless, the term Four-Twenty stuck. The Waldos continued to use it whether they were asking each other if they wanted to go smoke some, if you had any, or if you were stoned, all depending on how you said it. No one else knew what it meant, not for another few years at least.

How did it go

So how did it go from just this group of teens using it to a global term? With the help of the American Rock band, the Grateful Dead, it was able to get around. The Grateful Dead moved to the Marin County hills, close to the high school that the Waldos attended.

High Times

Friends and acquaintances, including a couple of steps removed-members of the Dead, had all caught up with using the term. It spread during the group’s rehearsals and parties. The term spread through the Dead underground as the group toured throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s. Eventually High Times picked up on it too and they helped to make it global.

A rival group

There were other reports made by a rival group in San Rafael that claimed that they were the ones who came up with term. However, the Waldos showed evidence like old letters and a 420 flag that makes their story more believable.

Lovers of the herb

The term has served as kind of like a code that lovers of the herb tend to spot all over the place. For instance the clocks in Pulp Fiction are placed at 4:20. And listen to this wonderfully funny anecdote; all over America the Department of Transportation are switching out the sign for mile marker 420 and replacing them with 419.99 because pot-puffing pillagers kept stealing the signs!

420 brothers and sisters

So, whatever you plan on doing next 4/20, be sure to give a laidback salute to all your 420 brothers and sisters chilling worldwide by lighting up that sweet plant in honor of your 420 culture.