How 4/20 Came To Be and Where You Can Celebrate in New York
Many are aware that 4/20 is code for cannabis, but not many know why or where it came from. According to Olivia B. Waxman from Time.com, some speculated that Police labelled cannabis related incidents as a code 420, and that local stoners reclaimed the term, but that rumor has little to no merit.
Others thought Bob Dylan's song "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" had to do with its origin, since 12 x 35 = 420. Again, this rumor has been given little to no confirmation, but not to worry, there's an even more credible origin story that's much more interesting.
The Story Goes...
Back in 1971 in California, five students from San Rafael High School would meet up at 4:20 to smoke weed. Why that time specifically? It just so happened that most extracurricular activities were over by then, so the five students, Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz, and Mark Gravich, would talk about their illicit activities (after all it was the 70's) by referring to it as 420. The group even became known as the "Waldos" since they would meet by a wall to indulge (Olivia B. Waxman, Time.com).
We got tired of the Friday-night football scene with all of the jocks. We were the guys sitting under the stands smoking a doobie, wondering what we were doing there. -Dave Reddix (Olivia B. Waxman, Time.com)
Apparently, Reddix's brother got him a job as a roadie with The Grateful Dead's bassist Phil Lesh. It is highly likely that the band helped to spread and popularize the term "420" as a reference to weed (Olivia B. Waxman, Time.com). Who knew?!