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Meaning and Origin of ‘420 friendly’

The meaning of ‘420 friendly’

You’ve seen ad sections in Craig’s List or on Kijiji searching for 420 friendly roommates.  Have you ever wondered what the term 420 meant or where it came from?

Generally speaking, 420 means dry herb cannabis.  Hence 420 friendly refers to a relaxed view on or an advocate for marijuana use.

Where did the term ‘420 friendly’ come from?

According to folk legend, the origin of the term goes back to 1971.

The Waldos, a group of high school students from San Rafael California, would remind each other to meet after school at 4:20 where they would smoke weed and hunt for a rumored marijuana plantation.

How did 420 spread across the globe?

Grateful Dead concerts were ground zero for new lingo adoption.

The Waldos attended many Grateful Dead parties and rehearsals, and the code word 420 stuck.  Then, as the Dead toured the globe, the phrase was adopted and spread though the hippie underground.

High Times claims 420 

In 1997, High Times purchased the web domain 420.com.

“I started incorporating it into everything we were doing,” said High Times editor Steve Hager.  “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.”

4:20 Waldos and High Times Magazine set the record straight

“No one’s been able to come up with any use of 4:20 that predates the 1971 usage which they had established,” says Hager.  “So unless somebody can come up with something that predates that, then I don’t think anybody else is going to get credit for the origin of 420 other than them.”


“Spark ‘er up crazy cannuck.”
Definition of a Cannuck: When the term "cannuck" is used by a Canadian aka Canuck, it affectionately means the same as 420 friendly, an advocate of cannabis or someone who like to toke dank herb, aka crazy cannuck.