The History of 420

Our favorite holiday is just two days away ! Yes Queens (and Kings) we’re talking about 420. So it’s only right that we write this while pregaming very early for it. Anywho, do you know how this holiday even came about ? Unlikely, so grab your glass blunt tip and your beautifully packed preroll, and relax while you get this fabulous history lesson.

classic photo of a woman holding a tea cup
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on because how do we know this wasn’t cannabis tea ??


We’d be remiss if we didn’t first cover a few of the myths and legends. This holiday is a lot like when someone in a crowd starts running so everyone else starts running but nobody really knows why. We don’t have a clue what we’re running for but it seems like the best idea. Most of us have no clue why we smoke extra spiffy on April 20th but it seems like the right thing to do because they’re doing it. But maybe you’ve heard a few reasons why along the way.

Adolf and La Policia

Some say that it’s Adolf Hitler’s birthday so he must’ve been a pothead. It doesn’t really explain the reason we celebrate on that day because he was such an awful guy. But it’s one of the conspiracies out there. Others say 420 is a police code for ‘marijuana smoking in progress’. In order to stick it to the man, we smoke big on that day because there’s no way they can stop all of us (take a puff for the homies they did catch).

There’s also an obscure connection between 420 and a Bob Dylan song called Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 because apparently, 12 times 35 equals 420. A super reach but we’re here for it because Bob Dylan was the G.O.A.T. in his genre. Sadly, none of these rumors are true. Depends on who you are, the truth is either more or less sexy.


Like with most things in history, we don’t actually effing know. However, we present to you, the most credible story. Back in 1971 five California students used to meet each other each day at 4:20 pm for a celebratory weed smoking sesh. It was always at a campus statue at San Rafael High School at that specific time because it’s when the after-school programs were all finished. With nearly everyone gone, they were least likely to get caught. Instead of being obvious idiots, to ask each other if they were down that day they’d say “420 ?”

Founding Father Reddix

One of those student participants’ names was Dave Reddix. He spoke with TIME magazine in 2017 and said, “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.” So he and four other friends meet at 4:20pm, get blitzed then go out on adventures.

Now get this, Reddix ends up getting a gig with the bassist from the Grateful Dead years later. By the tail end of 1990 some DeadHeads in Oakland were passing out flyers inviting people to come and get high with them at 4:20 on 4/20. It really stuck like glue from there !


Although these kids just wanted to have adventurous times with their friends, popularizing this term really helped to destigmatize the activity. That’s so extremely important because there are so many people who benefit from it medicinally but are afraid to be judged by their peers.

Medical marijuana can help with all types of serious ailments. Anecdotal sources are filled with claims that it’s cured them from diseases even, although it’s not clinically proven. Clinical tests have however showed that it helps the symptoms of diseases like AIDS, Parkinson’s, Fibromyalgia and PTSD etc

Here are several studies for just Multiple Sclerosis alone:

  • The National Multiple Sclerosis Society support the use of medical marijuana for people with MS in some instances and where it is lawful.
  • In a study in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, researchers gave people with MS either an oral extract of marijuana or a placebo for 12 weeks. The researchers found that people in the marijuana group experienced almost twice as much relief from muscle stiffness.
  • A large 2011 study involved 572 people with MS who took either oral marijuana extract or a placebo. The authors concluded that marijuana extract is an effective treatment for spasticity in people with MS. Spasticity is the continuous contraction of certain muscles, and it is a common symptom of MS.
  • In 2014, a systematic review found strong evidence to support the use of marijuana-based treatments for MS-related muscle problems.
  • 2012 trial looked at the effect of smoking marijuana on the symptoms of MS. The researchers found that smoking marijuana led to more pain reduction than a placebo.
  • In another 2012 study, people with MS who took oral marijuana extract had a more significant reduction in pain than those who received a placebo.


420, or weed, aka marijuana, gives you slightly different affects based on which strain you choose. We’ll dive into the details more in other blogs. What’s maybe the most important is knowing the difference between Indica and Sativa.

Indica Vs Sativa

Indica will have you “in da couch”. It’s a body high, which makes it especially excellent for pain relief. That euphoric stuck feeling you get from an Indica is also what makes it excellent for people with insomnia. Additionally, Indicas are most associated with the munchies so it really helps people who have a loss of appetite or wish to gain weight for whatever reason.

Sativas give you more of a cerebral high. They’re also known to boost your energy and leave you feeling more creative. This is what makes it excellent for patients who have mental disorders, like depression, instead of physical ones.


Let us commence in a royal conversation ! How do you celebrate 420 each year ? Let us know in the comments !

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