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How ‘4/20′ Became The Recognized ‘Weed Day’ Among Pot Smokers

BY TONI SIMS, CBS Houston
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File photo of marijuana. (credit: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

File photo of marijuana. (credit: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

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Talk about smoking pot! April 20th is Weed Day, also known as “4/20″ or “420.” This annual unofficial holiday is celebrated by marijuana devotees all over the universe. Although marijuana is still classified as an illegal controlled substance in most parts of the United States, many light it up anyways.

So where does 4/20 come from? How did it get its name? Well, many are quite unclear on how the term was coined, and the real origin of this national pot smoking day seems to be a cloudy mystery. Rumor has it that 420 came from a police code dispatch for smoking in progress, while some characterize 420 to the number of active chemical compounds in marijuana. However, both of those theories are completely bogus.

Origin:
The slang term was coined by a group of pot smoking teens in San Rafael, California, 1971.  The teenagers were known as the Waldos- because of their chosen hangout spot on a wall outside their school.

The Waldos, Mark Gravitch, Dave Reddix and Steve Capper, had a plan to find a cannabis (marijuana) crop that they’d learned about. They decided to meet at the statue of Louis Pasteur at San Rafael High School with 4:20 p.m. as their designated meeting time, which they called the “4:20 Louis.” After several failed attempts to find the cannabis crop, the Waldos shorten the phrase to just “4:20″ as a special code to imply pot-smoking in general.

The unofficial holiday “4/20″ is now an international phenomenon.

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