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US City Hit 69 Degrees At 4:20pm On 4/20

by : Aisha Nozari on :
US City Hit 69 Degrees At 4:20pm On 4/20
US City Hit 69 Degrees At 4:20pm On 4/20 (Alamy)

Wednesday 20 April – aka 4/20 – was the biggest day on the stoner calendar, and spliffs were lifted in solidarity the planet over.

But things got extra freaky in Colorado, USA, thanks to a wild combination of date, time and mercury.

At 4.20pm on 4/20, the temperature in Denver hit 69 degrees, bringing swathes of people together to chuckle and celebrate what may well be remembered as the grandmaster of counterculture holidays.

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People smoke at the Mile High 420 Festival in Denver, Colorado. Credit: Alamy
People smoke at the Mile High 420 Festival in Denver, Colorado. Credit: Alamy

The news was reported in local outlet Westword, which simply noted: “Denver Hit 69 Degrees at 4.20 P.M. on 4/20. Nice.”

Earlier this week, The Los Angeles Times ran a piece about the origins of 4/20, which have long been disputed. 

Five California stoners claim to have coined the term back in the 1970s when they were highschoolers at San Rafael High School.

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Speaking to the paper, Steve Capper and Dave Reddix explained that, along with Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz and Mark Gravitch, they used the term as secret code as teenagers. 

The youngsters were part of a gang called the ‘Waldos’, a name they chose because of their fondness for sitting on a wall outside their school’s cafeteria and coming up with impressions of their classmates and teachers. 

Becoming bored of their playground hangs, the Waldos started embarking on adventures around California, referring to their escapades as ‘safaris’.

The LA Times notes: “There were two rules to safaris: They had to go somewhere new, and participants had to be stoned.”

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At 4.20pm on 4/20, the temperature in Denver hit 69 degrees, bringing nymphos and potheads alike. Credit: Alamy
At 4.20pm on 4/20, the temperature in Denver hit 69 degrees, bringing nymphos and potheads alike. Credit: Alamy
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Before one particular ‘safari’, the Waldos decided to meet at 4.20pm so they could smoke a joint, and their meeting time stuck, soon becoming code for ‘let’s go smoke a blunt’.

“We could use [the secret code 420] in front of our parents, teachers, cops, friends, whatever, and they never knew what we were talking about,” Capper explained. 

Capper and Reddix felt comfortable speaking to the paper about their cannabis use as the drug has been widely legalised across the Golden State. 

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Asked why 4/20 means so much to the cannabis community, Capper said the date is important as its world-wide celebration helped drive legalisation. 

“[420 celebrations] were kind of the ground zero of getting weed legalised. It was the beginning of [marijuana] activism and fighting back. 420 certainly was a catalyst for legalisation and reform.”

As for his hopes for the cannabis industry, Capper said: “Goodwill, friendliness, kindness, tolerance. To have that kind of spirit surround the industry, I hope that continues.”

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Topics: News, Drugs, US News