Where does 420 come from?

For stoners worldwide, the 20th of April has long represented a day of celebration. Known commonly as '4:20' participants spend the day smoking cannabis and glorifying the culture that comes with it. But why? Competing theories exist over its origins. So, where does 420 come from?


Musical heavyweights from Bob Marley to John Lennon have been famously open about their love for the drug.

Bob Dylan invented 420

His song “Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35 ” contains a reference to 420 and marijuana.

The Grateful Dead invented 420

420 was first mentioned in a flyer for a Grateful Dead concert. This is where the 420 craze began.

The law

Until recently, smoking cannabis was illegal across the United States. Did "4:20" start off as an underground code?

420 is police code for cannabis

Police officers use the term "420" as a code word for cannabis.

420 is the number of a bill to legalise cannabis

In 2003, California Senate Bill 420 (SB 420) legalized medical marijuana.


420 has historical origins.

Adolf Hitler's birthday

420 can attribute its origins to Adolf Hitler's birthday, also 4/20.

The Waldos invented 420

A group of kids known as the 'Waldos' invented 4:20 as a term to mean smoking cannabis.
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This page was last edited on Monday, 4 May 2020 at 11:35 UTC