Friday marks a big day for pot enthusiasts in California.
April 20 will be the first “4/20” since marijuana became available for retail sales, and weed-fueled festivities are planned in cities and towns across the state. One of the biggest will be at Hippie Hill in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, where organizers expect 15,000 people to show up at the gathering. They also expect massive plumes of smoke to ascend into the air at — you guessed it — 4:20 p.m.
But when did 420 become synonymous with marijuana? And how?
Like many things in cannabis culture, the term appears to have originated in California. The number started out as a code word used by several stony Marin County high-school students trying to skirt police, parents and teachers. Decades later, 420 has gone mainstream, firmly establishing itself in our collective vernacular.
With that in mind, here are four things to know about 420 — both the term and the holiday.