Here at The Grove, we’re gearing up to celebrate 420. As we get ready for the festivities, we can’t help but wonder about the origin of this day that has become a tradition for cannabis enthusiasts. We’ve all heard the many stories and myths, but a reporter for the Huffington Post may have found one answer in Point Reyes, California, detailed in an article titled “420 History: The Story Behind April 20 Becoming Weed Day.”
The story begins with a group of five friends from San Rafael High School nicknamed the Waldos because of their hang-out spot, a wall outside the school. According to the article, written by Ryan Grim, “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 this free bud. The Waldos were all athletes and agreed to meet at the statue of Louis Pasteur outside the school at 4:20, after practice, to begin the hunt.”
For the group, the original term, 4:20-Louis, became a way of reminding each other of their plan to meet as they crossed paths in the school’s hallways throughout the day. Eventually they dropped the Louis and it became 420.
Although their treks to Pt. Reyes in search of the patch of marijuana plants were not successful, 420 became a code word for the group. They could communicate whether they wanted to smoke or ask each other whether if they had any weed, without teachers and parents knowing what they were talking about. The Waldos even have proof that they coined the term; an old 420 flag and letters from the 70’s with reference to 420.
But how did the term become so well known? Grim writes that the Waldos had a connection to the band, Grateful Dead, whom they believe may have picked up the term 420 during their interactions and spread it during their tours in the 70’s and 80’s. Soon High Times magazine also began to use 420, helping the term spread further.
With the legalization of recreational marijuana spreading, 420 is now more popular than ever. And it is a day of celebration for The Grove, as it also is our third anniversary. Stop by The Grove’s Las Vegas or Pahrump location this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. to be a part of the festivities and take advantage of many special deals.