Today is "the day of celebration, the real time to get high, the grandmaster of all holidays: 4/20, or April 20th." Yes, indeed it is. Interestingly, those words were written some 15 years ago. They were penned by an anonymous Deadhead who helped create the 420 legend with a little flyer he, she or they were distributing at Grateful Dead shows. I received a copy of the flyer at a show in Oakland in 1990 during the band's week of concerts leading up to New Year's. The flyer told the story of 420 - it was slang for pot smoking, based on what he, she or they believed was the California police code for "marijuana smoking in progress." So the stoners flipped the script and advised all potheads to get high at 4:20, presumably in the afternoon, and to join together for one collective smoke-out on April 20th at 4:20 pm. And that is what we will be doing today
Truth be told, there never was a 420 California police code. In 1998, a fellow named Waldo Steve told High Times
that he and his friends had coined "420" in the the early '70s when they attended San Rafael High School. They had posters and letters to prove it. Simply, they came up with the term as a shorthand to inform friends of their afterschool smoke sessions. So High Times
has since credited Steve Waldo and his fellow Waldo buddies with the creation of 420.
Still, I've always wondered about that flyer and who wrote it. Never found out. Oh, well...Happy 4/20, stoners!