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

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

Happy 420, Toker Supply fam! We are honored that our loyal customers are celebrating this national holiday with us. In addition to some dank bundle deals, 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 420 hold? Why did we choose today as our annual day for hanging out, smoking a bowl, and putting out some good vibes?

420: Origin Myths

And on the 420th day, God created herb. Well, nobody actually believes that to our knowledge, but we wouldn’t be surprised. There are several other common myths about the beginning of this nationally observed holiday. That it’s a reference to Hitler’s birthday, that it’s the radio code California police officers use to communicate about marijuana-related crimes, and that Bob Marley and/or Jimi Hendrix died on 4/20. In the name of conspiracy theory, others believe that it alludes to the Dylan song “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35”, 420 being the product of 12 and 35.

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

Waldo for 420

The Waldos

It all started back in San Rafael, California, where a group of five high school students would hang out at a wall (creative name, we know) near their high school. The group would convene at 4:20 every day near a statue of Louis Pasteur, a scientist who made many breakthroughs in pasteurization, to search for an apparently unattended patch of local weed. They toked up for the duration of the car ride, and during their daily searches, but never found the gold (or green) mine. To communicate discreetly about these extracurricular 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, and shortened the phrase to simply “420”. But how did this group of kids permeate 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 practicing spaces. Another of the Waldos had connections with the Dead’s bassist, Phil Lesh. The Waldos often smoked and listened to the band practice, eventually causing even the band to associate the now-coveted 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 420. What started off as an insignificant codeword among a group of high school deviants has now transcended the sphere of weed culture into the forefront of popular culture.

But that’s not what 420 is about. 420 is about the little things in life: spending time with old and new friends, ripping the bong, and memorable adventures.

Keep us in mind as you go about your day today, and live every day like it’s 420. As your premier online headshop, we’re here to help you with all of your bong, bubbler, pipe, and other smoke-related needs.

Keep on Truckin,’ Toker Supply fam.

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