I am fascinated by the origin of the term “420” and how it became associated with marijuana. There are as many stories about its origin as there are people you ask. Just a short search on Google leads to the following origin stories.
- It’s the number of active chemicals in marijuana.
- It’s teatime in Holland.
- It has something to do with Hitler’s birthday.
- It’s those numbers in that Bob Dylan song multiplied.
- It was like a police code for smoking in progress or something.
- In 2003, when the California Legislature codified the medical marijuana law that voters had approved, the bill was named SB 420.
It turns out that I’m not the only one who wanted an answer. Some heavy hitting investigators were unleashed over at Huffington Post. Their story focuses on a group of five San Rafael High School friends known as the Waldos — by virtue of their chosen hangout spot, a wall outside the school — coined the term in 1971. “The Waldos’ story goes like this: One day in the fall of 1971 — harvest time — the Waldos got word of a Coast Guard service member who could no longer tend his plot of marijuana plants near the Point Reyes Peninsula Coast Guard station. A treasure map in hand, the Waldos decided to pluck some of the free bud. The Waldos, who were all athletes, agreed to meet at the statue of Louis Pasteur outside the school at 4:20 p.m., after practice, to begin the hunt.” (link).
Whatever story you choose to believe, there is no doubt that “420” has become a day celebrating the struggle for legalization of marijuana and continued research into medical uses of marijuana. We stand ready to help you in Ohio if you are accused of driving while high, driving under the influence of drugs, driving under the influence (DUI), or operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana (OVI).