refers to consumption of cannabis
and, by extension, a way to identify oneself with cannabis drug subculture
originated from a group of teenagers at San Rafael High
School in San Rafael, California, United States in
The teens would meet after school at 4:20 p.m. to
smoke marijuana at the Louis Pasteur
According to an April 2009 article on the The Huffington Post
, the group
called itself the Waldos because its members hung out by a wall
after school. Writer Ryan Grim,
citing interviews with anonymous Waldos, claims that the group met
by the statue at 4:20 p.m. to begin a search for a crop of
unguarded cannabis growing near Point Reyes that they had heard about.
They never found
the stash, Grim writes, but smoked plenty of marijuana while
looking for it.
While April 20 is Adolf Hitler
birthday, there is no connection between the two events.
Also, according to his book LSD:
My Problem Child
, 4:20 PM was the time that LSD
the first time.
April 20th observances
April 20 ("4/20" in U.S. date
notation) has evolved into a counterculture holiday, where people gather
to celebrate and consume cannabis.
In some locations this
celebration coincides with Earth Week
events in the United States, it is common to hear about Abraham Lincoln
, one of many American
politicians known for past use of cannabis
, who wrote that one
of his "favorite things" was "smoking a pipe of sweet hemp". Some
events may have a political nature to them, advocating for the
of non-medical cannabis in the United States
University of Colorado, Boulder
celebration is held every year on the University of Colorado's
campus, with attendance reaching more than 10,000 in
In 2009, it has been estimated that the crowd reached
over the 10,000 attendee mark that was set in 2008. This would make
CU Boulder's celebration of the hopeful legalization of marijuana
one of the largest such celebrations in the United States.
University police have tried various methods to prevent the
gathering, including photographing students participating in the
event, but the crowd has grown every year.
On April 15, 2009, the Office of the Chancellor sent an e-mail to
all CU students regarding the 2009 celebration of 4/20 stating that
the event would debase "the reputation of your university and
degree." The CU student newspaper disagreed with the Chancellor's
No possession tickets were issued at the event.
Vancouver, British Columbia
20, 2009, The police estimated 5000 people gathered around the
Gallery to celebrate "420".
The police did not
attempt to make arrests.
gathering at the Johnson Clock Tower in the city of Guelph also gains
many supporters of marijuana.
It is known as a peaceful
protest, and students have gathered over a thousand people in its
past to this event. It usually is significant because it marks the
end of Final Exams, and because students leave residence right
around the same time. The University of Guelph does not promote this event in any way, but on the
university website, a picture is shown of the time 4:20 throughout
the entire day.
Although not as large as Boulder, the 420
rally in Guelph is very similar.
Due to weather conditions (often late snowfall), the April 20th
march to the provincial legislature is delayed every year until May
2, in order to coincide with the Global Marijuana March
, which is a
city tradition since 1999. A crowd of at least 10,000-12,000
participates each year.
New Zealand observance
Zealand, members of Otago NORML
and some students at Otago University meet every Wednesday and Friday at 4:20 pm under a
Walnut tree on the Otago University Union Lawn to smoke cannabis in
defiance of New Zealand's cannabis laws.
considerable media and police interest in the '420' group in 2008,
resulting in the arrest of a student and the issuance of trespass
notices to members of the public at one of the 4:20 pm meetings.
The group leader was arrested for cannabis possession at a
university Market Day unrelated to the 4:20 meetings. The group
celebrated their 5th anniversary on September 11, 2009.
- What 420 Means: The True Story Behind Stoners'
Favorite Number. 04/20/09. The Huffington
- Thousands at UCSC burn one to mark cannabis
- 420 at UCSC "Gets Bigger Every Year"
- Earth Week in Guam
- Earth Week in San Diego
- Earth Week in Victoria, BC
- CU's 4/20 pot smoke-out draws crowd of 10,000 : CU
- Marijuana: University of Colorado Posts Pics of
Students at Pot Rally, Offers Reward for Naming Them.
- Student Voice: CU owes students apology for 4/20
- No possession tickets issued during CU's 4/20