420

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"What time is it now? I say to you: eternity now."

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April 20 (4/20) has become an international counterculture holiday where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis.

 

420 Meaning: The True Story Of How April 20 Became ‘Weed Day' The story of The Waldos, the 420 Guys @ San Rafael High School

 

by Ryan Grim

This piece was first published on April 20, 2010. updated April 21, 2017  Excerpted here:

It had nothing to do with a police code — though the San Rafael part is dead on. Indeed, a group of five San Rafael High School friends known as the Waldos - by virtue of their chosen hang-out spot, a wall outside the school - coined the term in 1971. The Huffington Post spoke with Waldo Steve, Waldo Dave and Dave’s older brother, Patrick, and confirmed their full names and identities, which they asked to keep secret for professional reasons.

The Waldos never envisioned that pot smokers the world over would celebrate each April 20th as a result of their foray into the Point Reyes forest.

Students and locals will show up at round four, light up at 4:20 and be gone shortly thereafter. No bands, no speakers, no chants. Just a bunch of people getting together and getting stoned.

The code often creeps into popular culture and mainstream settings.

The code pops up in Craig’s List postings when fellow smokers search for “420 friendly” roommates. “It’s just a vaguer way of saying it and it kind of makes it kind of cool,” says Bloom. “Like, you know you’re in the know, but that does show you how it’s in the mainstream.”

The Waldos do have proof, however, that they used the term in the early ‘70s in the form of an old 420 flag and numerous letters with 420 references and early ‘70s post marks. They also have a story.

It goes like this: One day in the Fall of 1971 - harvest time - the Waldos got word of a Coast Guard service member who could no longer tend his plot of marijuana plants near the Point Reyes Peninsula Coast Guard station. A treasure map in hand, the Waldos decided to pluck some of this free bud.

The Waldos were all athletes and agreed to meet at the statue of Louis Pasteur outside the school at 4:20, after practice, to begin the hunt.

“We would remind each other in the hallways we were supposed to meet up at 4:20. It originally started out 4:20-Louis and we eventually dropped the Louis,” Waldo Steve tells the Huffington Post.

The first forays out were unsuccessful, but the group kept looking for the hidden crop. “We’d meet at 4:20 and get in my old ‘66 Chevy Impala and, of course, we’d smoke instantly and smoke all the way out to Pt. Reyes and smoke the entire time we were out there. We did it week after week,” says Steve. “We never actually found the patch.”

But they did find a useful codeword. “I could say to one of my friends, I’d go, 420, and it was telepathic. He would know if I was saying, ‘Hey, do you wanna go smoke some?’ Or, ‘Do you have any?’ Or, ‘Are you stoned right now?’ It was kind of telepathic just from the way you said it,” Steve says. “Our teachers didn’t know what we were talking about. Our parents didn’t know what we were talking about.”

It’s one thing to identify the origin of the term. Indeed, Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary already include references to the Waldos. The bigger question: How did 420 spread from a circle of California stoners across the globe?

As fortune would have it, the collapse of San Francisco’s hippie utopia in the late ‘60s set the stage. As speed freaks, thugs and con artists took over The Haight, the Grateful Dead picked up and moved to the Marin County hills - just blocks from San Rafael High School.

“Marin Country was kind of ground zero for the counter culture,” says Steve.

The Waldos had more than just a geographic connection to the Dead. Mark Waldo’s father took care of real estate for the Dead. And Waldo Dave’s older brother, Patrick, managed a Dead sideband and was good friends with bassist Phil Lesh. Patrick tells the Huffington Post that he smoked with Lesh on numerous occasions. He couldn’t recall if he used the term 420 around him, but guessed that he must have.

The Dead, recalls Waldo Dave Reddix, “had this rehearsal hall on Front Street, San Rafael, California, and they used to practice there. So we used to go hang out and listen to them play music and get high while they’re practicing for gigs. But I think it’s possible my brother Patrick might have spread it through Phil Lesh. And me, too, because I was hanging out with Lesh and his band [as a roadie] when they were doing a summer tour my brother was managing.”

The bands that Patrick managed for Lesh were called Too Loose To Truck and the Sea Stones; they featured not only Lesh but rock legend David Crosby and acclaimed guitarist Terry Haggerty.

The Waldos also had open access to Dead parties and rehearsals. “We’d go with [Mark’s] dad, who was a hip dad from the ‘60s,” says Steve. “There was a place called Winterland and we’d always be backstage running around or onstage and, of course, we’re using those phrases. When somebody passes a joint or something, ‘Hey, 420.’ So it started spreading through that community.”

Lesh, walking off the stage after a recent concert, confirmed that Patrick is a friend and said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the Waldos had coined 420. He wasn’t sure, he said, when the first time he heard it was. “I do not remember. I’m very sorry. I wish I could help,” he said.

As the Grateful Dead toured the globe through the ‘70s and ‘80s, playing hundreds of shows a year - the term spread though the Dead underground. Once High Times got hip to it, the magazine helped take it global.

“I started incorporating it into everything we were doing,” High Times editor Steve Hager told the Huffington Post. “I started doing all these big events - the World Hemp Expo Extravaganza and the Cannabis Cup - and we built everything around 420. The publicity that High Times gave it is what made it an international thing. Until then, it was relatively confined to the Grateful Dead subculture. But we blew it out into an international phenomenon.”

The Waldos say that within a few years the term had spread throughout San Rafael and was cropping up elsewhere in the state. By the early ‘90s, it had penetrated deep enough that Dave and Steve started hearing people use it in unexpected places - Ohio, Florida, Canada - and spotted it painted on signs and etched into park benches.

 

God said:

"I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth..."

Genesis 1:29 Old Testament

God says he will allow in heaven what we decide to allow here on earth. We need to look at reclassifying marijuana. It’s listed now to be as dangerous as other severe addictive drugs, with no medicinal value, and enabling a criminal element around it to exist. It should be regulated by some government bureau and seen as a great source of fiscal  revenue. When the use of alcohol was legalized and regulated there were no longer any bootleggers.

What do we read in the Bible to help us understand marijuana? In the first chapter of the Bible, The Lord tells us &  gives us every herb bearing seed and calls it very good. Come listen, weigh carefully, examine deeply, and hear what the Spirit of God has to say.

The Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church, the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, Union for Reform Judaism, and a progressive National Baptist Convention have all endorsed medical marijuana, for compassionate legitimate medicinal purposes, urging federal legislation that will allow legal access to medical marijuana for serious patients. A Catholic nun, Sister Mary Etienne Tibeau, has done wonderful research with sinsemilla cannabis plants. Israel is the leading country, the cutting edge of medical cannabis research and innovation. A majority of Americans endorse the idea of doctors prescribing marijuana when appropriate.

Marijuana should be readily available as a medicine for all, especially senior citizens. It acts as compassionate care for them to reduce stress and manage pain in their lives. Seniors aging, many with arthritis,  multiple sclerosis, cancer or diabetes, insomnia or depression, are all helped by marijuana, and according to a medical column in the Albany N.Y. Times Union,  there's been a discovery that marijuana can help Alzheimer patients.

Several decades ago, Brown of San Francisco (not Da Mayor) and I were smoking grass near Baker Beach when General Freeman approaches us. "Cannabis has essentially the same mineral requirements as hops, and is useful for many healing purposes," I said. "This is U.S. Army property," the General cautions us, and offers his identification with a smile.

Legalizing marijuana can help us be better thinkers, reduce overcrowded jails, and relieve the burden of the Court system. It will create new jobs, cut off money going to an underground economy, and bring in much needed revenue from taxes, that could help pay off the national debt. Continuing to classify this as a Schedule 1 agent with no medical use is a falsification that perpetuates needless problems. It needs the federal government who has already made an exception to this rule in July, 2010 when a new federal directive, from the Veteran Affairs Department, allows the use of medical marijuana for veterans in states where it is medically legal. There is a conflict that needs to be addressed by our government, reclassifying this drug so its medicinal benefits can be of legal use and a help to many.

--Uncle John

 

"WHATEVER you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you allow on earth will be allowed in heaven."

Matthew 16:19 New Testament

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GRATEFul dead

And I call her 420.

Photo: Jay Blakesberg

Robert Hunter & Jerry Garcia

 

Robert Hunter and his band Comfort is the opening act for the Jerry Garcia Band at the Keystone in Palo Alto. After the Garcia Band set, about thirty people crowd into a small room backstage. Robert Hunter turns to Jerry Garcia and says, "Hey man, you sounded great tonight!" "You sounded really good yourself" Garcia says back at him. "Did you hear 'roses'? and breaks into the song before he can answer. "....She had ribbons, ribbons, ribbons in her long brown hair..." He repeats his question to Garcia and continues the song a capella..."I don't know, maybe it was the roses, All I know is I could not leave her there....." Donna sang this song on stage with Hunter and his band tonight, a very special moment, and Hunter's voice rings through the room with sweet clarity.

"Did you notice all the old hipsters out there tonight?" Hunter asks. Garcia agrees, "Yeah, especially the 35-40 group."

"You got any smokes, man?" Hunter asks me. He signals me he's looking for a cigarette and I give him a hand rolled one, but no tobacco. "It's the best of this year's crop" I tell him. He looks at it like an alien would, holds it, studies it, lights it "This stuff, heh. The funny stuff." He exhales and says "OK, what the hell" and takes another toke and passes it to Garcia who mimics Hunter, and they're both hilarious. Garcia tokes, "Goofitus!" and another "Smoketitus!" and passes it along. It is the dawn of Christmas eve. I notice Donna Jean in the corner surrounded by people talking to her. I wait and the joint is passed to her and she holds it a long time without taking a toke. I capture a glance of her and she hands me the roach, and I give here the four leaf clover in the flowerpot I’m holding and share with her Kaela's story. On the eve of the  winter solstice, a few days before, I'm with Kaela in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco when I find a four leaf clover. Kaela, age five, goes into the bushes and comes out with a digging tool. We cut it out of the ground and repot it at home. Kaela asks me to give it to Donna. "Were you looking for it when you found it?" asks Maria Muldaur. I told her I found one when I was ten years old and searched for years after that but stumbled upon this one. "I been looking for one for a long time" she says. 

--Uncle John

 

dead & company nEW yEAR 2016

TERRAPIN NATION!

Contact UncleJohn@SpecialPermission.com for more information

LIFE IS BETTER SMOKING IT

 

Marijuana, in small doses, can help you think.

It can definitely help you sleep well.

It helps control pain and is good for your health.

 

For women, it is better to smoke marijuana during the menstrual cycle. This really helps!

There is an adjustment in attitude and it helps to manage emotions.

 

I tried to quit smoking at night, but then I can sleep only for a restless hour. I will not use it to travel.

 

In general, consider, where it is legal, life is better by smoking marijuana.

 

LA VIDA ES MEJOR FUMARLA
by John Patenaude, Spanish editor: Tania Carrasco
 

La marihuana, en pequeñas dosis, puede ayudarlo a pensar.
Definitivamente puede ayudarlo a dormir bien.
Ayuda a controlar el dolor y es bueno para su salud.
 

Para las mujeres, es mejor fumar marihuana durante el ciclo menstrual. Esto realmente ayuda!
Hay un ajuste en la actitud y ayuda a manejar las emociones.


Traté de dejar de fumar por la noche, pero luego puedo dormir solo una hora inquieta. No lo usaré para viajar.

En general, considere, donde es legal, la vida es mejor fumando la marihuana.