April 20 has become the unofficial day of cannabis celebration across North America. this is because April 20 is 4/20, and 4/20 has become a universally accepted code-word for marijuana.
The origins of the “4/20” term being a code for cannabis are shrouded in mystery. Some have claimed that it is a police code for a marijuana offence, but this has never been confirmed and is likely just a rumor. The most credible evidence shows that the “4/20” expression began among high-school students in San Rafael, California, who used the expression as a code to meet for tokes after school at 4:20. The term got picked up by the Greatful Dead culture and spread from there.
Special cannabis events take place across the continent today, ranging from rallies and parties in some major cities, to a “Smoke Out” taking place on Highway 420 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Organized by a group called Cannabis in Canada, tokers will gather beside the highway where it meets the Rainbow Bridge leading into the US and light their joints in protest of pot prohibition.
The 4/20 code has permeated the pop culture, with 4/20 references showing up in films like Pulp Fiction and Half Baked. Today, Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper and the Arizona Republic both documented the 4/20 experience.
Interestingly, Albert Hofmann took the first deliberate LSD trip at 4:20 on 19 April 1943. But this is not considered to be the source of the 4/20 term.
So have a happy and hempy 4/20, wherever you are!