April 20, 1971.
April 20th has become the largest holiday in the cannabis community, but how? There are different theories of the true origin of 420, but the most credible and largely accepted version begins in 1971 with five high school students at San Rafael High School in Marin County, California. The group chose to meet at 4:20 p.m., after extracurricular activities had usually ended, by a wall outside their school. Because of this, they coined the nickname “the Waldos” and simply saying “420” became their code for all things cannabis, allowing them to discuss smoking pot without their parents or teachers knowing.
The notion of 420 spread when one group member became a roadie for the Grateful Dead and the band helped to popularize the term. In December of 1990, a group of Deadheads in Oakland, California handed out flyers that invited people to smoke “420” on April 20 at 4:20 p.m. A reporter for High Times Magazine got his hands on one of these flyers and printed it in a 1991 edition of the publication. High Times has referenced the number ever since.
Pictured below is the original Grateful Dead 420 poster which amplified the popularity of the holiday. While this poster credited a police code for originating the code, High Times credited the Waldos with originating the term in a 1998 publication.
Once High Times Magazine printed the poster, the once ambiguous term became a staple. Its popularity grew as pop culture adapted it with nods of acknowledgement such as clocks being set to 4:20 in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and High Times launching their website as 420.com. *Credit
420 Today (and Everyday)
What was once an underground code is now a worldwide stoner holiday. From cannabis culture to government law reform, everyone seems to have their own unique way of celebrating the holiday. As cannabis becomes legalized throughout the United States, proponents of the plant put on 420 events such as concerts and festivals stacked with talent who are known for their love of cannabis. Lawmakers have taken the term as an opportunity to announce new legislation or included it in the name of cannabis-related legislation. Today, recreational use of cannabis is legal in 21 states and medically in 37 states. While the plant isn’t currently federally legal, a 2021 Pew Research poll found that 91% of Americans believe that cannabis should be legalized to some degree. *Credit
So, how can you celebrate this holiday? As legalization grows, opportunities to celebrate do too. While April 20 usually brings the largest cannabis celebrations, 420 is really more of a state of mind than a date or time. We encourage you to use these ideas to continuously celebrate 420!
Dispensaries are known for running their best deals on 4/20. In fact, TFS will be offering sales not just on 4/20, but on the days leading up to it for anyone who wants to skip the lines.
A huge part of cannabis culture is creativity. Grab your paint set or any other preferred medium and get inspired!
Celebrate your love for the plant by gathering with friends. Whether this means hanging out and watching a movie or turning classic drinking games like beer pong or flip cup into smoking games, it’s a great excuse to get the group together.
Many find meditation or yoga to be great outlets after consuming cannabis. If you haven’t tried this before and are looking for a more relaxing way to celebrate, put on some soft music and try it out.
Support the cause.
There’s a lot more history to cannabis than the history of 4/20. Take a moment to educate yourself or research how you can support cannabis reform through nonprofits such as the Last Prisoner Project.
Products to Celebrate With
Click below to shop our curated list of some of the best products to celebrate 420 with at your favorite TFS location. Note: all product links will bring you to our U.P. Wide Delivery menu.
Full Spectrum Diamonds are packed with terps for a potent and flavorful experience. Don't miss our limited offer: BOGO 50% off! (see the TFS deals page for details)
Shop the U.P.'s widest selection
The Fire Station is proud to serve the eight locations across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – Marquette, Negaunee, Ishpeming, Houghton, Hannahville, Iron River, Munising and Sault Ste. Marie. TFS offers the widest selection of recreational and medical cannabis at the lowest prices.
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