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420 Day: How Did 420 Day Start? Who Founded The Cannabis Festival?

420 Day: How Did 420 Day Start? Who Founded The Cannabis Festival?

For all the weed smokers out there, 4/20 has become a stand-out day on the calendar. For some, it’s even become something akin to a religious holiday, offering a chance to celebrate all things cannabis-related and to give thanks for the amazingly prolific plant.

However, the history of this special day is somewhat of a mystery, with a couple of different theories behind the origins of the tradition and its founders. On that note, let’s take a look at the history of 4/20 and what it means to cannabis smokers.

What is 420 weed day?

April 20, otherwise known as 4/20, is a cannabis culture slang for the date when smokers gather to smoke cannabis around the time of 4.20 pm. It’s an unofficial holiday that’s celebrated in many countries across the globe, but predominantly in the USA and Canada.

However, it’s important to note that this date has far more significance than just smoking weed with your friends. Many people have used 4/20 as an opportunity to take part in massive rallies and campaigns for the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis, with amazing results.

420 Day has not only become a day for celebrating cannabis and advocating for legalization, but also a day for promoting community and camaraderie. On 4/20, smokers from all walks of life come together to enjoy the plant and celebrate their shared love for it. Whether it's through participating in public rallies, attending cannabis festivals, or simply smoking with friends, the day serves as a reminder of the importance of community in the cannabis culture. The cannabis community has also used the day to educate the public on the benefits of the plant and to dispel negative stereotypes. From its humble origins, 420 Day has become a global phenomenon that continues to evolve and shape the conversation surrounding cannabis and its place in society.

Cannabis festivals play a huge role in the community of weed smokers. The first event, Cannabis Cup Festival, was founded in 1988 by High Times editor Steven Hagor and is still held in Amsterdam. Many members of marijuana community gather to celebrate this special day all around the world. 

The US doesn't fall behind this trend. For instance, marijuana laws in Colorado allow people to express themselves by having fun during festivals such as the famous The Mile High 420 Festival, which takes place in Civic Center Park in Denver every year.


How did 420 start?

A good question. The truth is that nobody knows the answer, but there are a few theories. The most popular theory being that back in 1971, a group of friends in Northern California, who called themselves the Waldos, had an agreement that they would meet after school at 4:20 pm every day to smoke weed together. Before long, 420 became the codeword for cannabis. At some point in time, 420 became synonymous with April 20 for calendar purposes, and the tradition stuck from there. Some people also say that it's connected with Adolf Hitler’s birthday. But this is just a rumor.

A second theory is that 420 was, in fact, the police code name for marijuana in the state of California, but this seems less likely as there is no evidence to support this statement.

Other people believe that 420 is the name given to the cannabis festival day as it is also a rough estimate of the number of active compounds found in the plant. However, it seems that we will never know the true origin of the tradition, yet, in some ways, it adds to the mystique and the allure of the day.

Here’s how to celebrate 4/20

There are many different and practical ways to celebrate 4/20. The way you choose to spend your time largely depends on your goals and the cannabis laws in your state. As mentioned, many people use this time to protest and hold demonstrations in large public spaces to campaign for the legalization of cannabis. If that sounds like something you would like to be a part of, then search for 4/20 events in your area and go and take part in. Just remember to buy products from the cannabis dispensary before you get there so you can smoke some weed during the day.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About 420

In preparation for the big day, here are some little known facts about 420 that you can tell your friends to impress them while you’re all smoking together:

  • Bob Marley died on May 11th, not April 20. However, one of his sons, Stephen, was born on 4/20
  • The state of Colorado had to change the 420-mile marker in Denver to 419.99 to stop people from stealing it
  • Many hotels skip room number 420 to prevent theft and illegal drug use in that room
  • The first-ever acid trip was taken at 4:20 pm
  • There is a road in Canada called Highway 420, and wild cannabis used to grow alongside it


Now you know the ins and outs of the sacred weed-smoking day! While nobody knows the festival's true origins, it’s clear to see it has become a significant part of the culture in many countries across the world.

Millions of people stand up and protest against the status quo and fight for their rights to consume cannabis, which has opened up the door for many new possibilities in places like California, Washington, and Colorado. If the plant is still illegal in your area, why not see what you can do to safely protest and spread the message? After all, that is the true spirit of 4/20.