What Does 420 Mean? Weed Day
Pretty much everyone that has consumed cannabis has seen the number 420 referenced all over the place; lighters, grinders, rolling trays etc. It’s quite a common number to find in the cannabis scene, but what does 420 mean?
420 is a number that’s used constantly to reference cannabis, and once you’ve noticed it you’ll start noticing it everywhere; check out your favorite stoner movie again and you’re sure to see it on a newspaper or on a clock.
This message started off secret, but began to spread and it’s not much of a secret anymore; the 20th of April is world cannabis day due to the format of the US calendar, where months are placed before days, making the 20th of April 4/20. Plus, this year it’s 2020 which means that 4/20 lasts a whole month according to the European calendar format.
What does 420 mean? Weed Day Origins
If someone where to ask you what does 420 mean, you’d probably answer by saying that it’s a number that references 16:20 in the afternoon or weed day, right? While this is true now, 420 actually dates back to the 70s and has had many cannabis enthusiasts scratching their heads; there’s plenty of theories of where it came from, and everything you read will probably tell you something different.
One of the most common myths surrounding this number is that Bob Marley, one of the biggest pro-cannabis activists to have ever lived, was born or died on April 20th, although this is entirely false. Other people believe that the name comes from the amount of cannabinoids in cannabis, but this was also proven to be fake when scientists discovered over 500 cannabinoids in marijuana flowers.
In the early 90s, the cannabis magazine High Times published an article stating that 420 started in San Rafael, California, when the police force began using it as a code in order to designate cannabis-related crimes. A few years later, one of the original people involved in the creation of 420 called in to let them know that they were wrong.
It turns out that the term did indeed originate in San Rafael, California in the 70s. However, it originated with a group of students called “the Waldos” that found out that there was an abandoned cannabis plantation somewhere in the Point Reyes area. They decided to go looking for it every day after school, meeting up at 16:20 outside the statue in front.
This became a sort of metaphor for the group, who began to say “Hey, 420” to each other whenever they wanted to light up. It turns out that the Waldos used to practice music in a building on Front Street in San Rafael, where The Grateful Dead also practiced for a time.
The Waldos used the term 420 for smoking weed so often that The Grateful Dead began to use it too, spreading it around the US as they went on tour during the 70s and 80s. The High Times began using 420 in all of their editions, holding 420 events periodically, which also helped the term to expand globally. That’s what lead 420 to become a world-wide phenomenon, ending up with its very own day on the calendar!
420 Cannabis Celebrations
420 celebrations vary; everywhere around the world, 16:20 is considered the best time to light up a joint and relax, but what about April 20th? In the US, the 20th of April (or close dates when not on a weekend) is usually place to many different celebrations around the country, bringing people together to enjoy the cannabis experience
One of the most famous cannabis 420 celebrations was the 2016 Reschedule Cannabis protest, in which thousands of protestors brought a gigantic 15m long blow-up joint to the whitehouse. The joint had “Obama, Reschedule Cannabis Now” written on it.
In 2017, activists from the DCMJ organization decided to have a different type of protest; they handed out at least 1000 rolled joints to members of congress and members of the press who where over the age of 21 in an effort to decriminalize cannabis. They stated that they were celebrating their right to make educated decisions not based on propaganda pushed by the press or government.
These celebrations don’t only take place in the US; every year, 420 celebrations take place all across the world, with activists filling public parks with cannabis smoke in order to protest and demand global legalization.
What does 710 mean?
You may have heard 710 mentioned in relation to 420; some people even think it’s the new 420, however there’s simply too much history behind 420 for it to be replaced. But, what does 710 mean and where did it come from?
The reasoning behind 710 isn’t as quite as original; it’s the word OIL written upside down and mirrored, referencing hash oil or BHO. Just like 420 is celebrated on the 20th of April, 710 is the 10th of July, however it’s not as widespread.
The origins of 710 are also slightly mysterious; the first official celebration of 710 was probably the 710 Cup in Denver, Colorado back in 2013, although people were unofficially celebrating it before then. People widely believe that the term came from an online chatroom, thought up by rapper TaskRok.
TaskRok and some friends were chatting on TinyChat and they were talking about having a new time to smoke their dabs at, because 420 was becoming kind of old school. TaskRok came up with the idea of 710, which is OIL inverted, and it began to spread. He released an album on July 10th called The Movement in which he references hash oil quite a lot.
The term became incredibly commercial, with seed banks, coffee shops and cannabis clubs popping up with 710 in their name. TaskRok later said in an interview that, although the idea was his, it doesn’t belong to anyone; it should belong to everyone.
What does 420 mean? Celebration and Vindication
As you can probably tell, 420 has taken on quite a political meaning for many cannabis consumers, especially those that consume cannabis for medicinal reasons; many of these people use cannabis day to express their right to obtain their medicine. April 20th is known all over the world as international cannabis day, with more and more protests popping up in favor of medicinal and recreational cannabis use. What are you doing this 4/20?