History and roots of 420 in cannabis culture and activism

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Global Marijuana March animated.gif Share link: 420history.

420.jpgCannabis dove peace.jpgWhirling cannabis leaves.gif

See also: 420 and Global Cannabis March event lists by year.

History of 420[edit | edit source]

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Oakland 1990 Dec 28 California. 420 flyer.jpg
San Rafael. 1971. Original 420 flag and some Waldos. And flag creator Patty Young. California.jpg

Some Waldos, and the 420 flag. Created in San Rafael, California in 1971. The original 420 batik flag was created by Patty Young. See Wikipedia: batik. She is holding the flag in the photo. Along with some Waldos. She created it in 1971 according to the 2012 article linked first below. The photo is from that article too.

San Rafael. 1971. Original 420 flag. California.jpg

History of 420 events[edit | edit source]

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1995. Vancouver, Canada[edit | edit source]

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One day in early March 1995, Danna [Rozek] and Cindy [Lassu] came to me at my desk at HEMP BC, and we had this exchange I remember vividly. Danna said, "Marc, we'd like to have a 'Four-Twenty' celebration on April 20. ..."

Image caption at source of photo below ([8] [9]): "Smokeless toke: Using a Toke-O-Matic, Hemp BC store owner Marc Emery, 37, and store manager Danna Rozek, 22, toke up some marijuana at the store. his device which is new, allows smoking of pot without actually inhaling any smoke. The pot is heated inside the bowl until the THC active ingredient releases from the pot. Then it’s inhaled through the hose".

Marc Emery and Danna Rozek. 1995 or 1996. Hemp BC store. Sources: [1] [2] [3].
  • Wikipedia: Marc Emery. According to Wikipedia Marc Emery was born on February 13, 1958. So he would have become 37 years old on Feb. 13, 1995. So above photo was taken in 1995 or early 1996.
Vancouver, Canada. April 20, 1995. See info below.

April 13, 2019 post from Marc Emery with above photo: "Me talking at the First annual Vancouver April 20 in 1995 at Victory Square beside Hemp BC. Danna O’Donnell (nee Rozek) was the inspiration for the April 20, 1995 event. It’s a good funny story I like to tell when regaling people about the origins of April 20."

1997. San Francisco, California[edit | edit source]

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The remaining members of Sublime wanted to perform in San Francisco on 4/20 in 1997 both as a tribute to their fallen bandmate and to launch their new group, the Long Beach Dub Allstars. CAN was experienced at organizing marijuana-themed events in San Francisco. ... I [Debby Goldsberry] said yes right away to produce the Long Beach Dub Allstars 4/20 show. Now we needed a venue, so I called Boots Hughston, who owned San Francisco’s hippie haven, the Maritime Hall. I remember trying to be discreet about the fact that we wanted to hold a big marijuana event at his venue. But when I asked about renting the Hall on April 20, he replied, “Hell yeah! That’s 4/20.”
2015 September. Left to right: Debby Goldsberry, Sarah Duff, Dale Sky Jones.

Source of above photo:

1997, 1999. Nimbin, Australia[edit | edit source]

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Max Stone, aka GaryBigBong, aka BigBong, aka BB is the man most responsible for the FourTwenties at Mardigrass dating back to 1999 , BB picked 4:20 as the ideal time to 'light up' back in 1997 when he needed to find a time to do a regular live webcam smoking session and BB picked 4:20 because of the 42nessness of 4:20, 42 of course being the answer to the the BIG Question in the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.... What is the meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything? If you haven't read the book, you ought. I digress...

Anyway, looping back to the beginning of the 420 Demo, back to the 1999 MardiGrass which set the underground tone that has endured to this day, Max Stone usually high jacks the "Main Mardi Grass Speakers" at 4:15.40 and sounds the 4 minute 20 second "roll up" alert for the 4 20 Demonstration. In 1999 we handed out FREE Marijuana, over 200 all natural - all organic cannabis "space balls" each wrapped with a poem called FREE Marijuana. ...

And so it came to be that in April of the year 2000, on the 20th, at 4:20 in the afternoon, the H*E*M*P Bar started what turned out to be an 8 year and four month long 'live to the web' political demonstration of recreational and medicinal marijuana use....

Max Stone and friends. Posted on 2018 May 10.jpg

Above photo posted here on May 10, 2018 on Facebook. It lists people left to right: Simonetta Zigaldo. Ray Manley. No name listed (seated in middle front). Adonia Lyovtzsis. Max Stone.

Max Stone at week-long protest (New South Wales Drug Summit) in June 1999 at the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, Australia.


Early 420 event graphics[edit | edit source]

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See: Category: Flat list of 420 event graphics.

Article discusses the first known public 420 event in the USA in 1997 in San Francisco, California.

Banner below is for an April 20, 1999 event in San Francisco:

Photos and graphics. Flat lists[edit | edit source]

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