April 20th is rapidly approaching, and each year we get this question many times; “What are the origins of this iconic phrase?” Seeing as we derived our name from the infamous code word, we figured now was a good opportunity to go back to its roots.
Many believe the phrase originated from a police code for “Marijuana smoking in progress”, but this is not the case. Nor is it the chemical compound, or a Bob Dylan reference. The phrase actually originated from a group of high schoolers in the 1970s. In the fall of 1971 the group heard rumors of a hidden cannabis crop that had been abandoned by the original care taker. The group would meet up atleast once a week to search for the cache. Their meeting time? 4:20 pm, after practice of course, as they were all student athletes. They would remind each other of the meeting in the hallways of school using the code word “4:20 louis”. Louis meaning the meet spot was at the Louis Pasteur statue outside their high school, but the louis was eventually dropped.
They never did discover the abandoned product, but we here at Twenty Past Four believe the coining of the term was worth far more in the grand scheme of things!