Why Is 4/20 a Pothead Holiday?
What’s 4/20 all about anyway? You know we’ve got the info you want! Keep reading for the backstory and how to celebrate 420.
Have you ever wondered why April 20th is a day for marijuana enthusiasts? It's a day to celebrate the cannabis plant, and it's also a day for potheads to gather together to show their support for the legalization of marijuana.
Here are the questions we'll answer about 4/20 and 420:
- What does 420 mean?
- How long has 4/20 been a holiday?
- How can you celebrate the 420 holiday?
What Does 420 Mean?
420 has become synonymous with marijuana smoking — ya probably already know this. But are you as up to speed on the origin story of 420?
- One common folk theory attributes the creation of the term 420 to a bunch of NoCal stoners using it as a code. This secret slang was used to let their buds know it was a good day to gather for a smoke, presumably at 4:20pm (when they got out of school?). However, there are various versions of this herb-an legend.
- The most popular story is that 420 is the California penal code or LA/NYC police dispatch code for the possession or use of marijuana. (It's not.)
- Some people think 420 stems from a Bob Dylan song. But the man himself hasn't affirmed nor denied a link.
- Still others think 420 is a reference to the number of compounds found in the cannabis plant. There are actually over 500 known substances (cannabinoids, terpenes, etc.) in cannabis — but maybe when the term "420" rose from the ashes people weren't aware of the other 80+ molecules mingling in their marijuana....
So, How Long Has 4/20 Been a Holiday?
This April holiday may seem like it's been around for a while. But it's more of a modern-day affair with possible throwbacks to paganism or counter-culture connections.
It's not hard to see how "420" the slang word became 4/20 the date. It's also pretty obvious how, over time, the day became linked to marijuana use. And, from there, it began to be celebrated as an unofficial holiday for potheads starting in early 1990s.
The Possible 420-Pagan Link
The idea that the date of April 20th was chosen to coincide with pagan festivals and rituals that celebrate nature has been floated. Whether or not this is true — and since so many religious and cultural holidays have been co-opted from paganism, it stands a good chance of having some legs to stand on — it's a good fit. Both the 420 holiday and pagan traditions are full-on festive!
Why Do Stoners Celebrate 420?
The pagan connection is plausible. But, many people believe that 4/20 is actually more closely linked with the Western counterculture movements of the 1960s and '70s. People who identify as marijuana enthusiasts have been using 4/20 as an opportunity to celebrate their culture and rebel against "The Man" for decades.
How To Celebrate 420
OK, so we've answered the questions "What is the significance of 420 to potheads?" and "Why is 4/20 the day to get high?".
Now you're probably jonesing for some inspiration on how to party your way through the day. We’ve got some suggestions that’ll have you seeing green and not feeling blue.
Have the Best 420 Holiday Ever!
- Wear clothes with weed motifs
- Gather together with friends to enjoy your favorite strains
- Bake or cook up some tasty edibles
- Attend a 4/20 festival filled with live music and entertainment
- Host an online 420-friendly (or -themed!) trivia night
- Visit a dispensary or head shop to stock up on supplies
- Have a movie night with cannabis snacks or a potluck
- Pop some pot patterned décor into your home
- Take part in a 420-infused yoga class or meditation session
- Enjoy the high life in nature
No matter how you decide to own the day, if you celebrate, be sure to do so safely, responsibly, and legally.
April 20 Is One Smokin' Holiday
4/20 is a day to celebrate cannabis culture, counterculture, and the natural world. Whether you're a stoner or simply curious, there are many ways to observe this occasion. Whatever you end up doing, we hope you have a happy 420!