It comes every year and Friday April 20th, 2012 is no different as it represents America’s National Pot Smoking Day. That’s not to say that other countries don’t partake in the celebration or even recognizing the number or day as weed day. Many countries celebrate 420 day.
It’s not just the specific day but also the time, 4:20pm and actually even 4:20am that is celebrated as a time to, “toke it up.” If you want to be honest about it, hardcore marijuana smokers celebrate this number at least a couple times a week by either smiling or lighting up a joint when the clock strikes 4:20.
Watch videos below on the meaning of 420 & people celebrating
The movement had gotten so popular at one college in Boulder, Colorado that they have tried to ban all 420 events and celebrations on their campus. The University of Colorado has become a mecca for people to travel to and get high on 4/20. The Norlin Quad at the University of Colorado was the place where over 10,000 people would gather and spark one.
This year though, the habit has to stop says University officials in Boulder. They have arranged with police and campus security to give out trespassing charges to anyone who is not faculty, staff or students. It remains to be seen whether this years attempts to keep marijuana activists and celebrators off of the campus worked. The pictures from previous years at the UC Campus in Boulder are pretty impressive with clouds of haze hanging above the partiers.
So what is the 420 meaning and why does it mean smoking pot? Well myths and legends have been spread for nearly 40 years as to why it has become synonmous with pot smoking. An About.com investigation helped reveal the following about the day:
“According to Steven Hager, editor of High Times, the term 420 originated at San Rafael High School, in 1971, among a group of about a dozen pot-smoking wiseacres who called themselves the Waldos, who are now pushing 50. The term was shorthand for the time of day the group would meet, at the campus statue of Louis Pasteur, to smoke pot. Intent on developing their own discreet language, they made 420 code for a time to get high, and its use spread among members of an entire generation. While our teens feel that they know something we don’t, you can let them in on the fact that it was your generation that came up with the numbers.
A quote from one of the Waldos in the High Times article states, “We did discover we could talk about getting high in front of our parents without them knowing by using the phrase 420.” Fortunately, your teenagers will not have that same option as their parents too grew up in a drug culture and should pretty much know better.”
That should clear up what the real meaning of 420 is but there are still a lot of ideas on how it started. The following things have been proven to be false in some way or another. A popular one is Hitler’s Birthday being on April 20th but this has nothing to do with it since the origination of 4:20 Pot time is by the clock, not the day. No, police do not use the number 420 to communicate about pot smokers or marijuana busts. There aren’t 420 active chemicals in marijuana, there are actually 315.
Either way, if you are taking part in any celebrations for 4/20/12 be safe and try not to do it much in public. Unless you’re in a state where marijuana is legal you need to really keep your eyes peeled. the states that are listed by Medical Marijuana ProCon.org as states with either lax laws or laws that make marijuana legal are the following: Alaska, Arizona, Calfiornia, Colorado, DC, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. For more information on their specific laws you can check out the site.
This is Boulder, Colorado on 4/20/09.
420 CU Boulder @ Norlin Quad 4/20/07
“The Meaning of 420”- Edmonton 2011
420 Rally Curchill Square, Edmonton, Alberta in 2011. Sharing peoples thoughts and opinions of what 420 means to them.