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The Meaning of 420: Myths & Origin

The number 420 refers to the act of consuming marijuana. Although the word was once used as a secret code to identify someone’s behaviors or views, like “420 friendly,” this is no longer a code. The majority of adults are already conscious of its connection to cannabis, and both parents and teenagers are likely to hear about 420 on Facebook, Twitter, or as part of the popular culture.

At 4:20 p.m. on every particular day, marijuana users all around the world indulge in a fine bong hit of their favorite weed strain. Some dedicated smokers might get up at 4:20 a.m. to smoke marijuana and go to bed for a good night’s sleep, or they might start their day being high.

For those who value marijuana, April 20th or 420 has a special meaning. In fact, April 20th is known as “Cannabis Smoker’s Day.” So why is that? What is the significance of the number 420 in relation to marijuana?

Myths Regarding The Number 420

Although there is an actual backstory regarding the relation of the number 420 and marijuana, there are also many false myths on the internet regarding the number 420. So let’s start by dispelling these myths first:

1.    420 Was A Police Code

Many people believe that the term 420 was once used as a policing code for reporting ongoing illegal marijuana-related operations. As in, if a cop sees a gang of stoners, he’ll report to his team on his walkie-talkie that we’ve got a 420 at a specific location. In reality, no such police code was ever synonymous with marijuana.

2.    Marijuana Has 420 Chemicals

Another questionable theory claims that the marijuana plant contains 420 chemical substances. That is also untrue. Overall, there’s actually just one chemical compound present in marijuana that’s of particular concern, and that’s THC. To use medical terms, this is the psychotropic chemical compound that has you high. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is another important compound in marijuana.

3.    420 And Bob Marley

There’s another myth circulating around the internet, stating that the number 420 is related to either the death or birth of the pop weed icon, Bob Marley. However, this theory has been rejected and proved wrong several times since Bob Marley was neither born on April 20th nor did he die on this day at 4:20 a.m. or p.m.

4.    Adolf Hitler’s Birth

Another spooky myth related to the number 420 is that this was the day Adolf Hitler was born. Although this is true, we do not see a correlation between Hitler’s birth and marijuana, so it is definitely a false myth.

420 Origin

The true origin story behind the 420 marijuana association is short but much more convincing than the fake myths that you hear everywhere from your friends and on social media.

It all began in the 1970s in California. A group of teenage weed lovers studying at high school heard about a plot of cannabis growing in a nearby forest. They devised a strategy to look for the cannabis plot like any respectable young man might. The Waldos, as they used to call themselves, would get together every day at 4:20 p.m. next to a monument outside their school. They started together with the pursuit of the marijuana after they had gathered at the designated place and time.

The Waldos never discovered the famed plot of forest cannabis, but something much greater came out – the teenagers started using 420 as a secret code for all marijuana-related items rather than a time to gather and begin a search.

420 in Today’s Culture

It’s hard to imagine that a basic codeword between teenagers in the 1970s had such an impact on today’s society. 420 is a term that everybody you may know would be familiar with, whether they smoke marijuana or not.

But what is the significance of 420 in today’s culture? As the figures are used separately, they usually apply to marijuana in general. However, based on the setting, it may imply various items, many of which share one common denominator: weed.

4:20 & 4/20 – A Smoking Date and Time

It all started with smoking marijuana at 4:20 p.m., and the practice hasn’t gone anywhere. Many smokers also find it a priority to light up at this historically significant moment. Plus, if you don’t smoke, many people would at least think about marijuana as the clock strikes 4:20.

4:20 is a good translation of 4/20. For years, people have regarded April 20th as “Marijuana Smoker’s Day.” While having an informal festival was not the intention, it hasn’t prevented smokers from all over the world from gathering for a joint.

420 Friendly

420 friendly is a term that can be used on a variety of platforms. It’s a more subdued form of expressing your opinion on weed. You’ll hear it referred to as both “420 friendly” and “non 420 friendly.”

Craigslist is one site where you could find this term being used. If you’re looking for a rental, and you’ll notice this detail in the overview. If a house for rent is 420 friendly, this means that the tenant should not have any problem with drug use there at the very least. Conversely, if an advertisement specifies that the location is not 420 friendly, don’t plan to be allowed to use it somewhere in that place.

Another place where 420 friendly is widely used is on dating platforms and apps. If anybody brings it up, it’s because it’s something important to them.

420 Blaze It

420 Blaze, in today’s society, has become a familiar expression. It’s been a sarcastically humorous form of relating to smoking. It’s mostly used as a pun rather than a serious expression.

Final Thoughts

Today, the number 420 and its relation to marijuana are no longer a secret. The majority of people, whether they are weed smokers or not, are well familiar with this number. The reality is that 420 was just a code used among teenagers in the early ‘70s and gained popularity as time went by.

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