The 420 movement. What is it and what does it represent?

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The cannabis movement is a culture that moves the masses, and the 420 movement reaffirms this. But what does 420 represent and where does it come from, where is the movement going and what does this number mean for cannabis users? There are many unknowns that have emerged over the years as to why 420 - pronounced "four-twenty" not "four-twenty" - has become an icon and a culture, and in today's article we will try to bring them to light. 

Let's start at the end. Before breaking down the history and the whys and wherefores of 420, it is necessary to know that this movement has derived in the "celebration" or claim on a day of its own: April 20. But what happens nowadays when this day arrives? The truth is that the answer is, like everything else, diverse. The movements depend largely on the country in which one resides and how socially accepted the plant is.

The current situation of the movement

Looking back through history, we can see that, with the turn of the century, the events dedicated to 420 on April 20 were already popular to raise awareness against its illegal status. So, we understand that this issue has become one of the most significant banners of the fight for legalization, sharing the day with another important event: the Global Marijuana March.

But let's continue with the number. They are many coincidences and references that we can find in our daily life that evoke the 420. Huffington PostIn 2003, when the California legislature codified the medical marijuana law that voters had approved, the bill was called SB 420. "We believe the person responsible was a staffer working for [Assembly chief sponsor Mark] Leno, but no one has admitted it," says Steph Sherer, director of Americans for Safe Access, which lobbied politically on behalf of the bill. California legislative staff members have said that this 420 denomination story remains a mystery....." 

420 and "Los Waldos". 

Before continuing, let's go to the origins of this "motto". The story, which is now a symbol in the cannabis world, dates back to 1971, when a group of friends from San Rafael High School in Northern California came across a hand-drawn map that supposedly located a marijuana grow in Point Reyes, northwest of San Francisco.

The friends, who called themselves "the Waldos," met after school at 4:20 at a statue of Louis Pasteur (which became the abbreviation "420 Louis"), and set out in search of their treasure. They never found it.

This group of friends, during the time they spent looking for him, began to use the term "420"which became a multi-functional linguistic tool used for anything related to cannabis. 

Later, the term spread among another group, even larger than the Waldos, who called themselves "the Deadheads" and adopted the cannabis slang, spreading it, too, through their fans. But the initial leap to the masses occurred when one of the band members passed around a flyer which referred to issue 420 to journalist Steve Bloom, who, at the time, was working for the US cannabis magazine High Times.

This same journalist, over the years, has commented that the term initially created by the Waldos and adapted by Deadheads has served as a sort of "semi-private code", which tends to be seen everywhere: street numbers, prices, hours and even in film culture. 

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