420 (cannabis culture): Wikis



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Santa Cruz 4/20 celebration at Porter Meadow on UCSC campus in 2007

420, 4:20 or 4/20 (pronounced four-twenty) refers to consumption of cannabis and, by extension, a way to identify oneself with cannabis drug subculture.



The term originated from a group of teenagers at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, California, United States in 1971.[1][2] The teens would meet after school at 4:20 p.m. to smoke marijuana at the Louis Pasteur statue.

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.[3]

April 20 observances

April 20 ("4/20" in U.S. date notation) has evolved into a counterculture holiday, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis.[4][5] In some locations this celebration coincides with Earth Week.[6][7][8] At 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".[9] Some events may have a political nature to them, advocating for the Decriminalization of non-medical cannabis in the United States.

University of Colorado, Boulder

2009's 420 celebration at University of Colorado.

A large celebration is held every year on the University of Colorado's Boulder campus, with attendance reaching more than 10,000 in 2008. 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.[2][10] University police have tried various methods to prevent the gathering, including photographing students participating in the event,[11] but the crowd has grown every year.[10]

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 analysis.[12]

No possession tickets were issued at the event.[13]

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

On April 20, 2009, The police estimated nearly 10,000 people gathered around the Vancouver Art Gallery to celebrate "420". The police did not attempt to make arrests.[14]

New Zealand observance

In Dunedin, New 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. There was 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.[15][16][17][18][19][20] The group leader was arrested for cannabis possession at a university Market Day unrelated to the 4:20 meetings,[21] but was later discharged without conviction on all charges.[22] The group celebrated their 5th anniversary on September 11, 2009.[23]

In Auckland, New Zealand a 420 group meets regularly at the Daktory[24]

See also


  1. ^ snopes.com: 420
  2. ^ a b "Marijuana Advocates Point to Signs of Change". New York Times. April 19, 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/20/us/20marijuana.html. Retrieved April 20, 2009. "Mr. Hager said the significance of April 20 dates to a ritual begun in the early 1970s in which a group of Northern California teenagers smoked marijuana every day at 4:20 p.m. Word of the ritual spread and expanded to a yearly event in various places. Soon, marijuana aficionados were using “420” as a code for smoking and using it as a sign-off on flyers for concerts where the drug would be plentiful. In recent years, the April 20 events have become so widespread that several colleges have urged students to just say no. At the University of Colorado, Boulder, where thousands of students regularly use the day to light up in the quad, administrators sent an e-mail message this month pleading with students not to “participate in unlawful activity that debases the reputation of your university and degree.”" 
  3. ^ What 420 Means: The True Story Behind Stoners' Favorite Number. 04/20/09. The Huffington Post
  4. ^ Thousands at UCSC burn one to mark cannabis holiday
  5. ^ 420 at UCSC "Gets Bigger Every Year"
  6. ^ Earth Week in Guam
  7. ^ Earth Week in San Diego
  8. ^ Earth Week in Victoria, BC
  9. ^ Gennet, Robbie (February 5, 2009). "On Role Models and their Bongs". The Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robbie-gennet/on-role-models-and-their_b_164387.html. Retrieved November 21, 2009. 
  10. ^ a b CU's 4/20 pot smoke-out draws crowd of 10,000 : CU News.
  11. ^ Marijuana: University of Colorado Posts Pics of Students at Pot Rally, Offers Reward for Naming Them.
  12. ^ Student Voice: CU owes students apology for 4/20 e-mail.
  13. ^ No possession tickets issued during CU's 4/20 smokeout.
  14. ^ Hall, Neal (May 2, 2009). "Thousands of marijuana smokers gather in Vancouver to celebrate "420"". The Vancouver Sun. http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Thousands+marijuana+smokers+gather+Vancouver+celebrate/1515882/story.html. Retrieved September 30, 2009. 
  15. ^ Porteous, Debbie (June 12, 2008). "Police swoop on cannabis protest". Otago Daily Times. http://www.odt.co.nz/on-campus/university-otago/9276/police-swoop-cannabis-protest. Retrieved March 31, 2009. 
  16. ^ "420 Protest". Channel 9 News Dunedin. February 22, 2008. http://www.ch9.co.nz/node/7704. Retrieved October 7, 2008. 
  17. ^ Porteous, Debbie (July 11, 2008). "Campus arrests follow marijuana complaints (+ video)". Otago Daily Times. http://www.odt.co.nz/on-campus/university-otago/12872/campus-arrests-follow-marijuana-complaints. Retrieved April 22, 2009. 
  18. ^ Rudd, Allison (September 26, 2008). "Moore's appeal rejected". Otago Daily Times. http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/24064/moore039s-appeal-rejected. Retrieved April 22, 2009. 
  19. ^ Rudd, Allison (July 22, 2008). "Lack of quorum foils cannabis vote". Otago Daily Times. http://www.odt.co.nz/on-campus/university-otago/14321/lack-quorum-foils-cannabis-vote. Retrieved April 22, 2009. 
  20. ^ Rudd, Allison (September 20, 2008). "OUSA general meeting promises controversy". Otago Daily Times. http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/23171/ousa-general-meeting-promises-controversy. Retrieved April 22, 2009. 
  21. ^ "Norml leader guilty". Otago Daily Times. February 10, 2009. http://www.odt.co.nz/on-campus/university-otago/42645/norml-leader-guilty. Retrieved August 23, 2009. 
  22. ^ "Ex-Norml leader discharged". The Otago Daily Times. 4 December 2009. 
  23. ^ Gibb, John (September 12, 2009). "Fifth anniversary of 4:20 protests". Otago Daily Times. http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/73731/fifth-anniversary-420-protests. Retrieved December 9, 2009. 
  24. ^ Hopkins, Steve (January 10, 2010). "Pot clubs go nationwide". Sunday News. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3218470/Pot-clubs-go-nationwide. Retrieved January 13, 2010. 

External links

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