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Celebrate 420 with PayRio

Amanda Ferron

The Highstory Behind 420

Oh 420… I can’t believe you’re already here again.

Ask any Cannabis connoisseur you know, and they will tell you, 420 is our holiday. The Cannabis Communities moment to honor this miracle plant we love so much. A day when even the closeted Cannabis user takes an extra puff or two…

I mean, clearly, I celebrate it… I named our entire Blog after 420!

But how did the time 4:20, and the entire day of 4/20, become synonymous with Cannabis consumption?

The tradition actually originated in Marin County, CA in the 1970’s. A group of High School students from San Rafael High School started habitually smoking together at 4:20pm everyday. The perfect time, in their minds, since their parents wouldn’t be home from work yet, and school would no longer be in session at that point. This group started calling themselves “The Waldos”, since they would meet next to a specific wall everyday.

Legend has it that one of the original Waldos eventually got a job as a roadie for The Grateful Dead. He brought this “smoking weed at 4:20” tradition with him on the road with the band, helping 4:20 gain popularity outside of the San Rafael High School circle.


On Dec 28th 1990, the acting Editor of High Times Magazine, Steve Bloom, was handed a flyer while wandering through the parking lot of a Grateful Dead concert at the Oakland Coliseum. The flyer gave a short history behind smoking Cannabis at 4:20, something Steve Bloom had never heard of before. The image then took it a step further by suggesting the celebration of the DAY 4/20. They wanted everyone, collectively, to “smoke pot hard core” at 4:20 on April 20th. Mr. Bloom published an image of the flyer in High Times May edition of 1991.

And with that, the 420 Holiday was officially a part of Cannabis culture.

Events Near You!

There are a number of stoner-themed events happening around the country today, and I thought I would highlight a few. Hopefully you can find one near you, and go participate!

The first one I have to mention, especially since I live 15 minutes away, is the gathering at Hippie Hill in San Francisco. I spoke to my friend Kimo Keawe about the event. Kimo has been to Hippie Hill more times than anyone I know, having attended his first gathering there when he was 13 years old. “Back then, it was 150-200 people in hack-e-sac circles.” But, he says, in the early 2000’s, Hippie Hill started gaining in popularity. When it came to celebrating 420 in the Bay Area, Hippie Hill was the place to be.

This year, they are expecting around 40,000 people throughout the day.

Now that Cannabis is recreationally legal in CA, the city of San Francisco has officially sanctioned the event. You have to be 21+ to enter the space (Sorry to the future little Kimo’s running around, no Hippie Hill at 13 for you!). There you will find legal Cannabis sales, food vendors, and lots of space for you to lay a blanket down, and enjoy a day full of Cannabis smoke.

This years event is hosted by none other than the legendary Erykah Badu, and features music by my homie DJ JAHYZERDJ Shortkut, and more. Sponsors include WeedmapsCookiesWash House FarmsPuffco, and many other heavy hitters in the industry.

Get there early if you plan on attending. Parking can be hectic, and the city can get quite congested. Gates open at 10am, and there are VIP tickets available here.

There are a lot of events happening in the Bay Area on 420, since San Francisco is historically a “hippie” destination. But there are also events happening around the country! My boss, Aubrey Amatelli, sent me a great Cannabis Now article with a bunch of 420 events listed. I also went looking around and found so many awesome 420 gatherings! Here are some that look good to the PayRio team:

Check out for more Cannabis friendly events nationwide, and Cannabis Now for Cannabis related news. Not just on 420, but all year long!

I know it’s 420, But Try Not To Forget…

The Cannabis community obviously loves celebrating 4/20. But while we celebrate, let’s not forget to be safe, be smart, and show respect. To be blunt: Don’t make the community look bad! Pay attention to your surroundings, have safe rides planned, pick up your rubbish if you are celebrating at an outdoor venue, and know your limits! We want people to indulge and enjoy this marvelous plant, but we also want everyone to show Cannabis, and its advocates, the proper respect.

My LinkedIn friend, Daniel Crawford, COO of Three Good Buds LLC, said it best in his post the morning of 4/19:

“…Remember to be respectful of the plant in all her glory. Some of us live the 420 life 24/7/365. While April 20th is a great day to celebrate the plant, smoke one up for those who risked it all so we could enjoy plant medicine together, in the open, without judgment. We’ve journeyed so far, but the best is yet to come!”