We’ve all heard the jokes, laughed about the stereotypes, and seen the television characters that inherently embody “420.” But what is the real story behind this cultural phenomenon? Its origin is clouded by the smoke of those who first created it in the 1970s, so let’s dissect the tall tales behind this day - and share some of our favorite ways to celebrate 420.
Avid cannabis enthusiasts often have trouble tracking down the origin of 420. Some believe it is linked to Hitler’s birthday, is a nod to “Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35” by Bob Dylan, or possibly correlates with the number of active chemicals in marijuana. In reality, we can thank a group of students from California called “the Waldos”. In 1971, the Waldos went on what they called “a treasure hunt” for a cannabis plant that had been planted by a wayward Coast Guard member and since abandoned. They met after school at 4:20 PM before embarking on their hunt, and as a way to keep their antics a secret from teachers and parents, began referring to their quest as 420.
Rather than discovering the rumored free flower, the Waldos instead founded a phrase to stick with the cannabis community for decades: “420.” Members of the Waldos would frequently use this phrase when smoking marijuana backstage at Grateful Dead concerts, thus spreading it around the Deadhead community. Referenced in countless movie classics like Pulp Fiction, this unofficial holiday is now known across the country. Even In The Flow’s neighbor, the University of Colorado Boulder, is known for their students’ participation in the 420 celebrations (independent from the University, of course).
“Some believe it is linked to Hitler’s birthday, is a nod to “Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35” by Bob Dylan, or possibly correlates with the number of active chemicals in marijuana. In reality, we can thank a group of students from California called “the Waldos.”
Everyone enjoys 420 a little differently, and in Colorado, we have a huge range of festivities to join in, the most prominent one being the free Mile High 420 Festival, an all day festival in Civic Center Park. The festival hosts a variety of performers, and this year features T.I and Jermaine Dupri. At In The Flow, we’re very proud of our Colorado roots, so we highly recommend spending it surrounded with our Denver and Boulder neighbors.
Denver isn’t the only place that goes all out for 420. One of our favorites places to see live music is at Red Rocks Amphitheater, a stunning concert venue. This year, Stick Figure is headline a weekend of music and comedy in what is surely one of the best spots to enjoy 420. (Remember though, you can’t smoke cannabis in public places, but it is a beautiful place to enjoy the effects of a high.) Most Colorado residents live for the outdoors, so naturally, a fan favorite celebration is one spent outside.
How will you be spending your 420? Drop us a line on Facebook and let us know!
At In The Flow, we want to provide you with the boutique cannabis products you need to celebrate your 420 the right way. Whether you’re enjoying nature at a Red Rocks show or hanging in downtown Denver, we have strain perfectly curated for your needs. Hand watered and trimmed, our beautiful flower is designed to help everyone find their Flow. Curious to know which strain is for you? Stop into any dispensary carrying our product. The budtenders would be happy to answer your questions and find a strain you love for your 420 celebrations.