Blaze Yourself with The True Meaning of 420

Idaho recently made the news (sadly it had nothing to do with potatoes) for having its “Mile 420” highway sign stolen by a bunch of blazed teenagers. Apparently, these potheads didn’t get the munchies, but rather acquired a taste for crime. So, in order to dissuade the red-eyed youth from committing more heinous crimes against their infrastructure system, the state changed the sign along Route 95 from “420” to "419.9.”

The term "420" has been attributed to stoner culture for god knows how long. It functions as another moniker for weed, the date of its unofficial holiday, and the prime time to get baked. Many have speculated about the term’s origin with theories ranging from the number of a bill to legalize weed in the US to the police radio code for marijuana. But we’re going to tell you the real story, so you can impress your buddies with your in-depth knowledge. Soon enough they’ll call you the Cannabis Chronicler.

It started back in the 70s (of course), with a group of students at San Rafael High School meeting up at 4:20 PM to smoke together. The time they met up jokingly became their code for the after-school delight. It spread all over California like wildfire and by the end of the decade, 420 went viral across the country. It sounds like another tall tale, but sources like Wikipedia and Snopes have confirmed it with letters and postmarks from the original gang of teens.

This isn’t the first road sign theft, states like Washington and Colorado have also experienced (literal) highway robbery. And Idaho has strict anti-marijuana laws, so the loss of their mile marker really riled them up. But still, it’s pretty impressive what these kids accomplished. Usually when people get stoned, they head to Taco Bell. I guess the new generation is just trying to aim higher.

Photo by Kathy Plonka.

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