What 420 Means and Ways to Celebrate

420 celebration

If you partake in consuming cannabis, then you likely have heard of 420 as a stoner national holiday. But what does 420 mean and where did it come from? Read on to learn about the meaning and origin of 420, the cannabis culture around it such as all the 420 festivals and ways to celebrate – including with The Clear!

420 Origin and History

The most credible story of how 420 started goes back to Marin County, California in 1971 according to Steven Hager, an editor at High Times Magazine. About a dozen pot-smoking students at San Rafael High School would gather at 4:20 pm at the campus statue of Louis Pasteur to smoke weed and go on adventurous “safaris”. Also known as the “Waldos”, they used the term “420” to refer to smoking cannabis without parents or teachers knowing what they meant. We now know 420 is a universal term that means consuming cannabis discreetly, or indiscreetly!

One of the students, Dave Reddix, later worked with the Grateful Dead as a roadie which further helped popularize the term “420”. The story goes that on Dec. 28, 1990, a group of Deadheads in Oakland, California handed out flyers with the story of the 420 origins. It included a now debunked assertion that it was a police code and invited people to smoke weed on April 20 at 4:20 pm.

One of the flyers got into the hands of Steve Bloom, a former reporter for High Times magazine, which ended up being published in the May 1991 issue of the magazine. Since then, it has fueled enthusiasm for cannabis everywhere on April 20th every year ­– for example, college students religiously gather on campuses or at events for a public group smoke out on 4/20. It has also been a day to stage marijuana policy reform, celebrate music, and the term is still often used in references to cannabis in movies and pop culture.

420 Mile high festival in Denver

Mile High Festival in Denver, Colorado

420 Festivals in 2023

If you’re looking to celebrate 420 in a big way check out the National Cannabis Festival on April 22, 2023, in Washington DC which has been running since 2015. This festival celebrates “progress on marijuana legalization in DC and across the nation”. It includes a concert featuring 2 Chainz, Juicy J and more, educational panel sessions, an exhibitor fair, and a munchies zone. Sounds like a smokin’ good time to us!

Another staple in 420 festivals is 420 Hippie Hill in San Francisco in the Robin Williams Meadows area of Golden Gate Park on April 20th, 2023. This long-running event is a well-known San Francisco tradition that attracts thousands of people to celebrate the right to use cannabis. The organizers of this unique free event focus on safety, increased clean up services, and will include food vendors, bathrooms, security, and medical crews on site. Countdown to 4:20 on 4/20 and light up at this festival with well-known sponsors like High Times and attended by high-profile industry movers and shakers.


Hippie Hill in San Francisco

We would be amiss if we didn’t give a shoutout to the Mile High 420 Festival in Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado, the first state that legalized marijuana for recreational users in 2012. It is arguably one of the biggest annual 420 festivals in the nation. It was suspended for two years due to the Covid19 pandemic but returned in 2022 with over 50,000 attendees! This year on April 20, 2023, the festival which allows only 21+ to attend, and is hosted by Tommy Chong, is a free event but attendees can purchase VIP experiences. It features experiential activations, food vendors, and a lineup that includes Rick Ross, the Alchemist and more.


420 Festival in Denver, Colorado

Find The Clear on 420

We would love to help you celebrate 420! Be sure to check out our deals page to find stores that are running The Clear promos in April or you can find any store near you that carries your favorite The Clear products. We carry a selection of cannabis products that will make your 420 lit including flavorful The Clear cartridges and vape pens like Elite and ENDO THC distillate and live resin, TWAX infused pre-rolls, and Dripcees gummy edibles depending on the state.

We are a participating vendor at 420-friendly events nationwide every year so feel free to find us and sesh with us! 

We hope you have a fun and safe 420 celebration made even better with The Clear! Please remember that it is still technically illegal to consume cannabis in public so be sure to enjoy it in private or attend 420-friendly events that are held in a safe environment.

Find The Clear products here. If you are a purchasing manager for a dispensary interested in carrying The Clear, contact us here. Are you a dispensary owner or larger-scale operator looking to bring The Clear to your state? Contact us here.