A History of the 420 Cannabis Celebration
What did we do in April before the 420 cannabis celebration became ‘a thing’?! In recent years this worldwide festival of appreciation for the plant and the rights of everyone to consume without fear of punishment has become a rallying call for the cannabis community.
This year,2020, was supposed to be the BIG one – just look at the numbers; 4, 20, 2020 – one of those epic calendar events like a full eclipse that won’t happen again… Instead we find ourselves looking at one of the most unusual 420 celebrations in its short history.
This month Paradise Seeds is running some super cool promotions – 420 Golden Ticket and Free Goodies (* Goodies only available for UK and EU customers) with every order – so check those out! Now, let’s take a closer look at the 420 story….
The Beginnings of the 420 Cannabis Celebration
Over the years, there have been a few theories suggesting the origins of the term but as the 420 celebration has mushroomed around the world its roots have now have become well documented. At first it may seem a little disappointing to discover that the 420 name came from a group of High School kids in Northern California who called themselves the Waldos.
But if you get the full background story the reality is actually pretty cool. The way the Waldos™ describe themselves they sound like The Goonies, crossed with the Merry Pranksters with a little bit of The Breakfast Club and a pinch of Grateful Dead thrown into the mix. They claim that in 1971, they arranged to meet at 4.20pm on the campus of San Rafael High to get high and follow a treasure map to find a secret weed garden…
From that day on they remembered their adventure through an in-joke between themselves, referring to ‘420 Louie™’. Over time this got shortened to just ‘420’. That is just what the Waldos thought this was – an in-joke between friends – and none of them could have predicted what happened next… You can read more about the Waldo’s legendary story in their own words.
420 Goes Global!
We are now used to things going viral on social media – remember the floss, the ice bucket challenge and Gangnam style? – but 420 did it the old school way. Through word of mouth 420 crept beyond San Rafael’s town limits and made its way through the slang speak of Northern California, passed on to friends, around stoner circles and handed down from generation to generation until… boom!
It was in the early years of the 21st century) that 420 started to go worldwide – coinciding with the development of the internet. It gathered pace as it started to become a focal point for the counterculture – an excuse for cannabis users to come out from the shadows and join hundreds, and later thousands, in one place to protest for their right to partake. As well as a political motive, these events were also a 420 cannabis celebration to have fun and generally exude the kind of good time vibes the cannabis community has a reputation for.
Events have established themselves in the USA, such as the massive Mile High 420 event in Denver and California’s Sacramento Cannabis Cup, Canada (420 Toronto) and the UK, where many thousands now descend on London’s Hyde Park. In Europe and other parts of the world, the 420 spirit runs through already established May events such as Million Marijuana Marches and Mardigrass in Australia.
Unfortunately, many of these events have been cancelled in 2020 due to Coronavirus… but we have no doubt that the spirit will live on because it is now ingrained in popular weed culture – used as a term in conversation and of course circulated widely on social media. For that reason, the people may not be coming together in crowds to show their cannabis appreciation, but online they will be there in their thousands and millions, sharing the love…