To a certain group of people, 420, 4:20 and 4/20 have a special meaning. These people also tend to have Cheetos dust under their fingernails and tickets to a Grateful Dead tribute band concert. We thought we’d delve into the history of 420.
The number 420 has become strongly associated with marijuana smoking. How did this happen? It appears to have started with a group of California high school kids, who called themselves the “Waldos”, who would meet at a certain spot at 4:20 in the afternoon to get high. High Times Magazine picked up on this, and it spread throughout the pot smoking world.
Boulder and, to a lesser extent, Denver were until recently the site of large gatherings of cannabis connoisseurs for several years in the early 2000’s. Around 2000, groups started to gather on Farrand Field at the University of Colorado at 4:20 on April 20 to light up. The gathering grew larger every year swelling to about 10,000 people every year from 2008-2011. This was extremely disruptive to the University, causing traffic jams and class closures. So, in 2012 the University put barricades and campus police at every entrance to the campus. At about this time, the party moved to Denver’s Civic Center park.
In 2014 Colorado became the first state to make marijuana legal for “recreational” use, meaning those wishing to buy some legally no longer had to tell a doctor they had “chronic pain”. Several states have followed, and now it seems, there is no longer a need to gather and smoke pot as a form of protest. This has please most of the citizens of Boulder, except, of course, purveyors of pizza and burritos.
The Banjo Billy Bus does smoke, but that is just diesel exhaust from the engine, waiting to take you around Boulder and Denver so learn can hear our great stories. Hope to see you soon!