420 Day

For anyone who doesn’t know, 420 Day is a holiday observed on April 20th (hence the term 420) every year and celebrates everything cannabis-related. Although it has been celebrated for years, it is only now beginning to get the attention it deserves. This probably has a lot to do with the legalization of marijuana across the United States.

As of April 2022, there are 18 states, including Washington, D.C., that have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. Twelve of those have been through citizen initiatives, six have been approved by state legislatures and signed by governors, and one has been through a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment.

There have also been an additional thirteen states that have decriminalized recreational marijuana usage. In these particular states, cannabis is still illegal, but instead of first-time offenders receiving jail time, they are issued a fine. It’s now estimated that almost half of all Americans live in a jurisdiction with legalized recreational cannabis.

Of course, there are still plenty of U.S. states where marijuana is illegal and punishable by jail time. These states include Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

The History Of 420 Day

There are a variety of different origin stories for 420 Day. Some people have said that it was originally a police radio code for “marijuana smoking in progress.” However, most of these stories are not true and are just clever explanations that some people have made up — probably while under the influence of cannabis.

The story that seems to make the most sense is that 4/20 is linked to five students in Marin County, California, who would meet up at 4:20 pm by the campus’ statue of chemist Louis Pasteur to get high.

According to this story, they chose this time because extracurricular activities for the school had already concluded. This group was allegedly made up of Larry Schwartz, Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Mark Gravich, and Jeff Noel. And also according to the story, this group of five would say “420” to one another as code for smoking weed.

Dave Reddix’s brother then helped him get work with Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh. He worked as a roadie, and according to this story, the band allegedly popularized the term “420.” In 1990, after a December 28th show, a group of “Deadheads” in Oakland passed out flyers that invited people to smoke at 4:20 pm on April 20th.

Steve Bloom, a reporter for High Times Magazine, received one of these flyers and printed it in 1991. Not long after, the term “420” received international recognition as the code word for marijuana. This day is now a stoner holiday observed all across the world.

Some Common Slang Terms For Marijuana

Let’s take a quick look at some of the slang terms used for marijuana nowadays. The following list of slang names for cannabis includes some of the most popular terms, but the list is by no means comprehensive.

  • Mary Jane
  • Weed
  • Grass
  • Pot
  • Reefer
  • Skunk
  • Aunt Mary
  • Devil’s Lettuce
  • Ganja
  • Chronic
  • Herb

Interesting Facts About Marijuana

Anyone who has read any of our holiday articles knows that there is always a section where we give fun facts about things related to the holiday we’re covering. So it should be no surprise that we’re going to do the same thing here with 420 Day. Below are some of the interesting facts that we’ve learned about marijuana and would like to now share with everyone reading about this holiday.

  • Although there are 500 compounds in marijuana, THC is the one responsible for marijuana’s psychotropic effects.
  • In the 1990s, the average THC content in cannabis was 4%.
  • In 2022, the average THC content is approximately 15%.
  • CBD is the shortened name for cannabidiol, an extract from marijuana that doesn’t cause the user to get high.
  • It’s recommended that people avoid mixing alcohol and marijuana use, especially when using marijuana for the first time.
  • No one should ever drive under the influence of marijuana.
  • Approximately 90% of Americans favor some sort of marijuana legalization, according to a Pew Research Center survey taken in 2021.
  • Public support for marijuana legalization has risen drastically over the last 20 years.
  • Less than half of U.S. adults have ever used marijuana.
  • Marijuana reduces the amount of time people spend in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

Observing 420 Day

Observing 420 Day is as easy as obtaining some marijuana and smoking it with friends. Of course, that’s only acceptable in areas where it’s legal; there are still plenty of places in the U.S. and around the world where cannabis is still illegal. In those areas, people can spread the word about this holiday online using the hashtag #420Day on social media.

When is it?
This year (2024)
April 20 Saturday
Next year (2025)
April 20 Sunday
Last year (2023)
April 20 Thursday
Awareness & Cause