4/20 Means Weed, Thanks To The Dead

But as of July 1, every day will be weed day in Oregon

The date 4/20 might mean weed day across the world, but as of July 1, every day will be weed day in Oregon. Given the long history of the association with 420 and weed, it’s doubtful that 7/1 will take over as a code for “Let’s go light up.”

But thanks to Measure 91, if you are over 21 and you partake (privately) on 4/20 next year, you will be doing so legally. For this year, if you don’t have a medical marijuana card, there are other activities you can legally engage in.

On 4/20 itself the politically minded can participate in the Salem Cannabis Industry Association’s Cannabis Awareness Walk at 11 am Monday, April 20, at the Capitol, 900 Court St. NE, in Salem. The walk is family-friendly and allows no use of cannabis, organizers say. “The rally is in support of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program and not making significant changes to it while the OLCC and Legislature work to implement Measure 91,” they add.

Also on 4/20 itself, Barbie Walker with The Webfoot at 839 E. 13th Ave. tells EW that the pub will host a free trivia-off between Webfoot and Ninkasi employees featuring 4/20-themed questions, hosted by Derek Sheen of “The Donkey Show.”

If you need to prep for trivia, then let EW score you some points: 4/20 was never a police code for marijuana. According to the BBC and to The Huffington Posts annual 4/20 update, the term originated in 1971 with a group of kids in San Rafael, California, who kept meeting after school at 4:20 pm to find a lost pot grow — and light up before they went on the hunt. The kids, known as the Waldos, geographically and socially overlapped with the Grateful Dead, who had moved out to the Marin hills. The terms slowly grew in use among Dead fans.

In 1990, according to the Huff Po, a reporter for High Times was handed a flyer while walking through the parking lot at a Dead show. It read, “We are going to meet at 4:20 on 4/20 for 420-ing in Marin County at the Bolinas Ridge sunset spot on Mt. Tamalpais,” and the magazine began to use the term.

In 1991, according to High Times, the magazine incorrectly cited the police code as the source of the 420 number. High Times later corrected the origin from cop code to stoner teens in 1998 and went on to purchase the domain name 420.com.

For those who have trouble getting motivated on 4/20, comedian Doug Benson’s 5th Annual Four Twenty-One Show is 8 pm Monday, April 21, at the WOW Hall (tickets $20 in advance, $22 door). According to the WOW Hall, Benson will be flying in from Denver where, like Washington, weed is already legal. Denver might have legal pot, but Benson told EW last year that Eugene is the “weediest city” and that’s why he comes back for his annual show.

Benson is the star of a podcast, “Getting High with Doug.” For marijuana media with a local flair, Eugene has its own marijuana-themed show on community television — sort of a Between Two Ferns meets Wayne’s World with a Eugene weed angle. Eugene Cannabis TV is viewable on YouTube or channel 29.

Host DanK (aka Dan Koozer) has in recent episodes taken tours of Cannabis, LLC, in Springfield, discussed the National Cannabis Industry Association dropping Tommy Chong as spokesperson and he is usually featured in front of colorful pot leaf décor and sometimes accompanied by cohosts with bandanas over their faces. The show is in partnership with Emerald Empire Hempfest, which runs July 17-19 at Maurie Jacobs Park.

For answers to burning questions like “Can I take my weed to Washington where it’s also legal?” we recommend you check out the Oregon state government’s weed FAQ at wkly.ws/200 (and the answer is no, you can’t take it across state lines). For info on local medical marijuana strains and dispensaries go to leafly.com and type in your city. Finally, for info on the Global Cannabis March on May 2 go to willamettevalleynorml.org.