By now, you don’t have to be a smoker to know that April 20 is considered by many to be a sort of national holiday for cannabis culture.
Some have suggested that the date comes from “420” being a code among police officers for “marijuana-smoking in progress,” while others say that there’s a connection to 4/20 being Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler’s birthday. But the most incredible story about 4/20 does not involve any of those.
Instead, it involves five high school students (the Waldos) who, back in 1971, would get together at 4:20 p.m. to smoke marijuana by a statue of chemist Louis Pasteur at San Rafael High School in California.
Turns out one of the Waldos had a friend whose brother was a Coast Guard at the time.
For years he had been planting a small patch of pot in a forgotten area of federal land but as harvest approached this time around, he got paranoid about his commanding officer busting him.
So he drew a rough map showing where to search for the pot patch, and gave the Waldos permission to keep it all for themselves if they could find it.
Together, they spent weeks questing after this Holy Grail, only to come up empty each time.
Still, the outings served their larger goal of having grand adventures they called Waldo Safaris.
Passing each other on campus, they took to using the phrase “Louis 420” as a coded reminder of their meeting time and place whenever a new search party was organized.
Eventually they dropped the Louis. And they never found the secret garden.
But 420 took on a life of its own.
The Waldos, who still live in Calif, have not made any money off their claim to fame yet, but they are co-branding with Chemistry, a vape cartridge pen company located in Oakland. Their brand is called 420 Waldos 1971 and all net proceeds will be going to the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit aimed at ending the “war on drugs.”
The Waldos will be launching their brand at a local dispensary on, of course, today, April 20!