What is 420 and why is it trending?

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021 22:13 |

On Tuesday, April 20, a topic '420' was trending on social media. Trending parallel with 420 was cannabis.

Here is all you need to know about 420.

What is 420?

420 is an American annual event that happens on April 20, to celebrate cannabis, writes the Independent.


How did it start?

The day traces to California, US in 1970s where five high school students devised a secret code to communicate on where and when to smoke cannabis.

The five, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, Mark Gravich, Larry Schwartz and Steve Capper would say 420 to each other as they met in the walkways within the school and later meet at 4.20pm to smoke cannabis.

"I could say to one of my friends, I'd go, '420', and it was telepathic. He would know if I was saying, 'Hey, do you wanna go smoke some?' Or, 'Do you have any?' Or, 'Are you stoned right now?' It was kind of telepathic just from the way you said it," Capper told the Huffington Post.

With the coded language, they hid their smoking behaviour from the teachers and parents.

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The five smoked cannabis at a spot by the statue of 19-century scientist Louis Pasteur who is accredited with the invention of milk pasteurisation, writes Time magazine.

"We got tired of the Friday night football scene with all of the jocks," Reddix told the magazine.

Celebrations began in the US and they have since spread to many countries all over the world. The day is mainly used to protest laws illegalising the use of cannabis.

In 2019, thousands of bhang users met in London at Hyde Park to celebrate 420 and protest illegalisation of cannabis in the UK. In the US.

In Kenya where the debate on cannabis legalisation is not yet vivid, April 20 is just a social media craze with no serious debate.

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko was among Kenyans who joined the debate.

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