What does the day entail and why did it become a thing?
Below, we explain all this and more:
What is 4/20?
Simply put, 4/20 is a holiday to celebrate weed. Every year, places in the UK and US are overrun by people smoking marijuana regardless of its legality to pay homage to the drug.
Each year, thousands of cannabis users meet in Hyde Park, London, in celebration of 420 and to protest the existing laws prohibiting use and possession of cannabis in the UK.
In the US, organised rallies normally take place in states including Colorado, California, Michigan, and Florida. Over time, it has become more commercial with businesses getting involved to flog tat associated with it.
Why is it held on April 20th?
No one knows for sure, but there are a few theories about it.
Steven Hager, a former editor of the marijuana-focused news outlet High Times, told the New York Times that the holiday came out of a ritual started by a group of Californian teens in the 1970s who ritualistically smoked marijuana every day at 4:20 pm.
The five students called themselves the “Waldos,” referencing the wall they would sit on at their school.
One of those teens, Dave Reddix told TIME in 2017: “We got tired of the Friday-night football scene with all of the jocks. We were the guys sitting under the stands smoking a doobie, wondering what we were doing there.”
Another common belief is that 420 was the California police or penal code for marijuana, but there’s no evidence to support those claims.
Another theory is that there are 420 active chemicals in marijuana, but there are actually 500.
Then there is the 1939 short story “In the Walls of Eryx” by H.P. Lovecraft and Kenneth Sterling. The story describes “curious mirage-plants” that seemed fairly similar to marijuana and appeared to get the narrator high at around 4:20pm.
How have social media users reacted to 4/20 this year?
On 4/20, it is common for the occasion to trend on Twitter and other social media platforms with people showing their support for it.