Myth Busting: 420 Edition

By David Jenison

The number 420 (pronounced four-twenty) is the not-so-secret code for cannabis consumption and culture. The commonly held belief is that 420 originally referred to a smoking time, 4:20pm in the afternoon, but today the most popular reference is April 20 (4/20), which is unofficially world cannabis day. Covering both bases, cannabis aficionados typically celebrate the 4/20 holiday by lighting up at 4:20pm, sometimes in large public gatherings.

Over the decades, countless theories postulated different 420 origins, but most people now believe it originated in 1971 with a group of teen hippies in the Bay Area. If true, this means 420 originally referred to a search for cannabis, not actually smoking the plant, though the meaning quickly evolved among the teens and their social connections.

Debunked 420 Myths

The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937

Harry Anslinger: The Godfather of Cannabis Prohibition

Wacky Wiley

The Muckrakers!

The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906

What is Hemp?

The Origin of "Marijuana"

J Law

How Cannabis Affects Anxiety and Paranoia

The Start of Cannabis Prohibition

Psychological Addiction to Cannabis

Physical Addiction to Cannabis

Is Cannabis Addictive?

Should Cannabis be Legal?