420: What is it and where did it come from?

420: What is it and where did it come from?

Happy 420, Toker Supply family! We're so honored that our fantastically-loyal customers are celebrating this national holiday with us. In addition to the same level of service you've come to expect from us, plus some incredible deals on dabbing supplies and CBD, we want to share with you the origins of this joyous occasion of enlightenment.

But if you love smoking herb all year round like us, you must have wondered: what significance does 4/20 hold? Why did we choose today as our day for hanging out in your dream smoking room, smoking, shaking off that pesky paranoia and soaking up some beautiful vibes?

420: Origin Myths

Well, nobody actually believes that (to our knowledge). But, we wouldn’t be surprised if some did. There are a lot of other common myths about the beginning of this nationally-observed holiday. Some people believe that it's a direct reference to Hitler’s birthday. Also, a lot of people think that it comes from the radio code California police officers use to report marijuana crimes. Additionally, you may have heard that Bob Marley and/or Jimi Hendrix passed away on 4/20. Many conspiracy theories theorize that it alludes to the Dylan song “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35." (Twelve times thirty-five equals 420.)

These theories all have varying degrees of credibility associated with them. However, none of them are the prevailing origin story.

Waldo for 420

The Waldos

It all started back in San Rafael, California. Here, a group of five high school students would hang out at a wall near their high school. The group would convene at 4:20 every day near a statue of Louis Pasteur. Pasteur was a scientist who made several notable breakthroughs in pasteurization. Allegedly, they would grab their bongs and search for an apparently-unattended patch of local weed. And here, they toked up for the duration of the car ride, and during their daily searches. But, they never found the gold (or green) mine.

To communicate discreetly about these activities, they would say “420-Louis” to remind each other of the meeting time. Eventually, they found themselves using this phrase to refer to any cannabis-related activity. Then, they shortened the phrase to simply “420." But how did this group of kids permeate national weed culture?

Grateful Dead Graphic for 420

A Grateful Connection With the Dead

The Grateful Dead, a musical and cultural embodiment of all things good vibes, moved to Marin County around the time of the Waldos. The father of one of the Waldos managed real estate for the Dead, and was able to inform them about local practicing spaces. Another of the Waldos had connections with the Dead’s bassist, Phil Lesh. The Waldos often smoked and listened to their band practice. Eventually, even the band came to associate the number with their favorite plant. Others caught on to the band using this as a euphemism, and the rest is history.

420: A Happy Time for Us All

So, that’s the story of 4/20. What began as a discreet and obscure codeword among a group of high school deviants has transcended the sphere of smoking subculture and into the forefront of popular culture.

But, that’s not exactly what 4/20 is about. It's really about enjoying the little things in life: spending time with friends, ripping the bong and spontaneous, memorable adventures.

Keep us in mind as you go about your day today, and live every day like it’s 4/20! As your favorite online headshop, we’re here to help you with all of your bong, dab rig, pipe, CBD and other smoke-related needs.

Previous article Everything You Need to Know About Ice Catchers
Next article Is Your Bong's Downstem Stuck? Here's How to Fix It