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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Why Do We Celebrate 420 as a National Cannabis Holiday?

Most medical marijuana users have heard of, or used, the term “420” when referring to ingesting cannabis. Whether it means that it’s a special time on the clock each day that signifies the importance of using marijuana, or as a silly reference to memories or times in the past when one used cannabis, most users can agree that they’ve used the term. But, where did the term come from? Who started it? Why is April 20 of each year considered a “holiday” of sorts for cannabis users?

The simple answer is that no one really knows where it started. What we do know is that it stuck. There are stories told through the years that it was a secret code used in the ‘70s by a group of students in northern California who would make plans to meet after class at 4:20 p.m. to smoke and hang out. Others claim that the Grateful Dead started the slang term for smoking pot or getting stoned while listening to their music. Interestingly, when California passed a law legalizing medical marijuana in 2003, the bill was named SB 420.

The term was even added to the Oxford English Dictionary, defining it as the “act of smoking marijuana”. April 20 has become an international holiday for cannabis consumers around the globe. Celebrations, festivals, dispensary sales, concerts and other parties break out. It’s a day for cannabis consumers to celebrate their favorite type of medicating: using the cannabis plant.

Budtender, Jessica, shared that, “420 to me symbolizes a time, whether it be the day or when the clock strikes 4:20, when smokers can unite to have a fun, relaxing time. It’s a stress-free moment. Rumor has it that 420 came from a police code for getting caught with pot but that’s probably not true. The only thing we really know about 420 is that most of the myths about it are a lie. It’s now known as a national holiday for smokers all across North America. I intend to celebrate as long as I can.”

SAINTS will begin celebrating 420 this year on 419 (April 19). There will be vendors on site who will offer information on their products that are available regularly at SAINTS dispensary. SAINTS Crew and Budtenders will help patients choose cannabis strains best suited for their conditions. Doors will open at 10 a.m. Sale prices will continue through April 20.

Tucson SAINTS is located at 112 S. Kolb Rd., Tucson. For more information, call 520-886-1003 or visit See ad, page 41.

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