Worldwide, the cannabis culture and everyday people, share a common expression of joy and happiness when they listen or see the magic number; 420. Cars, bills, the time, the walls of the city, etc. There is a lot of information that is seen by citizen with no way to relate it with the number or most representative symbol of marihuana. By the way, do you know where the historic relation given to this code comes from? If not, here we will tell you.

Origin of code 420:

The 20th day of the fourth month, is what represent the 4:20. Is a day that has been adopted by cannabis users to go to the streets and demand for the legalization of the plant. The first records of this international manifestation are from the year 1971 in San Rafael, California thanks to a bunch of students called themselves as “Waldos”. These guys had as habit get together to smoke a joint after class just when the clock set the time 4:20 p.m. Those hidden meetings became popular so more and more students started to use the same code “420” as a way to refer to the weed, avoiding that teachers had any suspicious about it.

This concept became more popular thanks to Phil Lesh, integrant of the psicodelic rock band Grateful Dead, Waldos were their friends and they used to go private parties organized by the band, doing so the code (420) spread among fans whom started to use it. That was how the concept went from private parties to the concerts of that time where was common that members of the band asked to the audience What time is it? The answer emerged in chorus; it´s 4:20, time to light up and start to smoke!

The magic number 4/20 has established itself around the world as a code, building an alternative culture which is based on its relation with the plant. In countries such as Colombia, you can tell how strong is this movement besides the legal struggle due the phenomena of the collectives and activists who have promoted a sense of resistance and a speech oriented to achieve the legalization of the plant taking into account the great variety of benefits that can be obtained from the cannabis.

So, cannabis culture can be considered as a movement of resistance which in its fight to be accepted in a society absorbed by moral gaps, decides to organize different and peaceful mobilizations as the “Marcha Cannabica” held in different cities in order to face the challenge of involve the citizens on the dynamics of the movement.

Wirtten by Sebastián Perdomo and Mateo Gonzalez

Translation by Juan  Carlos Vargas.