The 4/20 Cannabis Holiday is an annual event celebrated by cannabis enthusiasts around the world. It is a day to come together and celebrate the culture, history, and advancements in the legalization of cannabis. The origins can be traced back to 1971, when five high school students in San Rafael, California, used the term “4:20” in connection with a plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop, based on a treasure map made by the grower.

Calling themselves the Waldos because their typical hang-out spot was a wall outside the school, the five students — Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz, and Mark Gravich — designated the Louis Pasteur statue on the grounds of San Rafael High School as their meeting place, and 4:20 pm as their meeting time. The Waldos referred to this plan with the phrase “4:20 Louis”. After several failed attempts to find the crop, the group eventually shortened their phrase to “4:20”, which ultimately evolved into a code word the teens used to refer to consuming cannabis.

Steven Hager of High Times popularized the story of the Waldos. The first High Times mention of 4:20 smoking and a 4/20 holiday appeared in May 1991 and erroneously attributed the origin of the term to a police code; this and other spurious incorrect origin stories became common. The connection to the Waldos appeared in December 1998. Hager attributed the early spread of the phrase to Grateful Dead followers — after “Waldo” Reddix became a roadie for the Grateful Dead‘s bassist, Phil Lesh — and called for 4:20 pm to be the socially accepted time of the day to consume cannabis.

The importance of the 4/20 Cannabis Holiday goes beyond just a day for cannabis enthusiasts to celebrate. It has become a platform for advocacy, education, and activism in the ongoing fight for cannabis reform. The 4/20 holiday serves as a reminder of the progress that has been made and the work that still needs to be done. By participating in this day, you are joining a global community of individuals who believe in the importance of cannabis reform and are dedicated to making a difference.

Medicinal and therapeutic benefits of cannabis

Cannabis has been used for its medicinal and therapeutic properties for thousands of years, and research continues to uncover new potential benefits. Some of the most well-known medicinal uses of cannabis include pain relief, especially for chronic pain conditions like neuropathy and fibromyalgia. Cannabis has also been shown to be effective in treating nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, as well as stimulating appetite in patients with AIDS and other wasting syndromes.

In recent years, research has also uncovered the potential for cannabis to be an effective treatment for various mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Additionally, studies have shown that cannabis can help reduce the frequency and severity of seizures in patients with epilepsy and other seizure disorders.

While research on the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of cannabis is still ongoing, the evidence supporting its use as an effective treatment for various conditions is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore.

Finding a 4/20 event

Events for cannabis enthusiasts to connect and celebrate can be found all over the world. For something a little closer to home, try these events in Louisiana and Mississippi:

The 3rd Annual 5o420 Festival – Held in New Orleans on April 22, 2023, this event offers free entry along with music, food, and vendors. 

How High 2 420 Festival – Also in New Orleans, this event offers free entry along with food, vendors, and music. Held on April 19th and 20th.

The 420 Festival – Even Texas is getting in on the fun, with a  4/20 celebration held in Austin on Thursday, April 20th at Independence Brewing Co. $10 admission covers a comedy show, musical entertainment, catering, craft beer, vendors, a 420-Themed Talk Show and Podcast.

Cannabis Festival Mississippi – Held Friday, April 21st through 23rd in Biloxi at the Biloxi Town Green, this event is a combo 4/20 and educational event for cannabis enthusiasts in Mississippi. The event includes food, and live music,  educational sessions, exhibitors, vendors, food trucks, and local bands.

Final thoughts on 4/20

The 4/20 Cannabis Holiday is far more than just a day to celebrate cannabis culture. It is an opportunity to become an informed and engaged advocate for cannabis reform.

As you celebrate the 4/20 Cannabis Holiday, remember the importance of advocating for responsible cannabis use. If you’re ready to start your healing journey, please click the button below to get started.

Special thanks to John Lewis for his input and collaboration on this post.