The Real Story Behind 4:20


Being the oktober-fest of marijuana smoking, 420 has been a worldwide holiday for stoners and business men alike. Although there are far more myths surrounding the date than there are facts, why out of all the other 364 days of the year did this magical day fall on the 20th of april?

Thanks to the people at los Angeles Times and Huffington post, we were able to find out the true story behind 420, for the sake of clarity lets look at the false reasons behind 420.

420 is not the number of compounds in marijuana.
420 is not police code for marijuana violations
420 is Adolf hitlers birthday, but just trust that it is not where the word tradition comes from

the real beginning of this wonderful tradition started with a group of teens from Marin County, California called the Waldos. The group consisted of Mark Gravitch, Dave Reddix and Steve Capper, who initially concealed their identity to protect their adult lives. To do so they used Ramones-style code names such as Waldo Mark, Waldo Dave and Waldo Steve, they even created a 420 flag that dates back to the 1970s, which dates way back than a lot of the reasoning behind the number 420(except for hitlers birthday).

The real reason why the Waldo’s chose this number was because 4:20 was the time they would meet up every single day to search for a legendary lost marijuana crop near the point Reyes coast guard station.

According to the Waldos, they were just typical marijuana-lovin’ high school students that heard about some guy in the coast guard who was forced to abandon a plot of marijuana plants in a field in Point Reyes.

They agreed to meet at a statue at 4:20 every single day, where they would smoke and wander the wilds of point Reyes looking for this mystical field.

Despite this wondrous approach, they never uncovered the hidden field, but they did manage to create a code that allowed them to hide their marijuana use from parents and teachers alike.

It is very likely that 420 would have ended as a legacy between those 3 friends, but luckily Waldo Dave’s older brother was a great friend of Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh.

After learning the phrase from the group of teens, Phil and the rest of the grateful dead co-adapted the term and ended up spending the next 35 years touring and promoting the number 420 and smoking pot.

420 and pop culture

After it had finally been adopted by the stoner community, the famous number began to find its way to all kinds of funny places.

For example, every single clock in the film pulp fiction was set to 4:20, a new marijuana legislation bill in California was called state bill 420. The Denver interstate mile marker 420 was stolen so frequently that they had to replace it with mile marker 419.99.

Although it ended up taking almost half a century, 420 has made it into the big-leagues, way further than those kids in Marin county could have every imagined.


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