Last updated: November 17, 2021

What Does 420 Mean?

420 (also written as 4:20 or 4/20, pronounced four-twenty) is a globally recognized cultural expression of cannabis connection, acceptance, and legalization. It can refer to the time of day, 4:20 pm, the widely accepted cannabis smoke break time or time for legalization protest smokes. It also refers to the date, April 20th, an international day of celebration for marijuana culture and awareness for cannabis legalization. It is often used as a code word for consuming cannabis and can even be used as a reference to marijuana itself.


Maximum Yield Explains 420

The history of 420 consists of a few different unverified anecdotal theories. One theory has 420 as a police code for a marijuana arrest, while the most accepted unverified account has a group of high school kids in California known as “The Waldos” establishing it as a coded meeting time for cannabis consumption in the early 70s. The Grateful Dead celebrated these stories and various other pop culture sources embraced this “code word” in the 90s.

It has since solidified itself as an integral identity touchstone both in the cannabis legalization movement and in cannabis culture as a whole. It has become a booming counterculture holiday and a universally recognized term.


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