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How Did 4/20 Become Christmas Day For Cannabis?

How Did 4/20 Become Christmas Day For Cannabis?

April 20, 2021

For more than five decades, the date 4/20 has served as a beacon for cannabis culture. It unites cannabis legalization advocates, potrepreneurs, and cannabis consumers – giving this growing group a day to celebrate their love of all things cannabis.

And that’s exactly what cannabis connoisseurs around the globe will be doing this 4/20! But why? What’s the significance of 4/20? And what’s the root of its connection to cannabis?

We were wondering the same thing at So, we decided it was high time (pun intended) to educate ourselves on the origin of cannabis’s most hallowed day.

Why is 4/20 Cannabis’s Biggest Holiday?

There are actually a few theories behind the persistent connection between 4/20 and cannabis. And while it’s impossible to pin down the “definitive truth” behind mostly weed-fueled folklore, here’s a rundown of the most popular hypotheses…

Meet Up At 4:20

According to former High Times editor, Steve Hager, it’s really 4:20 pm – a time of day rather than a calendar date – that made this digit combination so significant.

As the legend goes, a group of five high school classmates – Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz, and Mark Gravich – hailing from San Rafael in Northern California bonded thanks to their mutual love of “getting high.”

The quintet supposedly can into possession of a “secret treasure map” that revealed the location of a mythical “lost cannabis crop.” So, of course, the teens hatched a plan to recover this unclaimed booty of kind buds.

Predictably, they never found the fabled lost crop. But undeterred, the group continued to gather daily – mostly to smoke weed – immediately following school dismissal at… 4:20 pm

California Criminal Code For Cannabis Possession

Another popular theory is that at one time, there was either a penal code for criminal cannabis possession or a police code for suspected cannabis possession in California.

There’s definitely no record on the books of any 420 penal code connected to cannabis.

And as far as police codes go, it’s certainly possible 420 was used as a “suspected cannabis possession” code by a local police department in California. But no records exist substantiating this theory.

The Chemical Composition of Cannabis

Another possibility is the 420 active ingredients found in cannabis. So, 420 becomes 4/20. The problem with this theory is cannabis contains over 500 active ingredients.

It’s Not the Date That Matters – It’s The Sentiment

There are a number of other, increasingly farfetched theories behind the connection between cannabis and 4/20.

But in the end, the origin of 4/20 doesn’t really matter. What counts is 4/20 has become a hugely popular international holiday that connects cannabis fanatics all around.

And the crew here at wishes you a very happy 4/20!

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