What Does 4/20 Mean? How Did the Holiday First Start?

If you’re looking to get into the lore of 420, we would have to get into the whole story about the teenagers (called the Waldos) that would meet up everyday after school at 4:20…this isn’t that article.  4/20 is a Cannabis holiday and a day of activism and civil disobedience for the masses. 4/20 has evolved into different meanings for everyone; dispensary sale day, activist and activism appreciation, Cannabis plant appreciation day, smoke a lot of Cannabis Day, etc.

However you decide to spend your 4/20 and 4/20 week is up to you.

We don’t judge here, all we ask is that you take the time to appreciate the people and the plant and what it took to get where we are today. It’s not perfect anywhere, we know this, and it sucks! But, there’s always opportunity to change the laws or rules on how Cannabis gets the freedom and true appreciation it deserves on so many levels. Here you have a plant that is medicine for millions, for everyone in some way or another, including animals. A plant that brings people together peacefully and helps you to open your mind and be a more compassionate human being.

There’s always that thought that crosses my mind, “If everyone on the planet consumed Cannabis, what that world look like?”

I think the biggest answer that I estimate and hope for most people would answer would be; world peace! It’s a hopeful and optimistic answer, I know this. My Cannabis mind has a glass half full optimism. In all my years as a Cannabis activist, advocate, and professional serving the Cannabis community and industry, I’ve seen HUGE progress.  Starting in 1996 with the passage of Prop215, California’s Compassionate Use Act of 1996.

Since then, we have made many steps forward and a lot of steps back in various ways, depending on how you look at it and through who’s eyes. Ultimately, the fight and the conversation has to continue towards full de-scheduling of Cannabis and off the Controlled Substances Act. Nationwide freedom then world freedom! It is time to grant Cannabis the ultimate freedom like it should have from the beginning along with ALL the people that have been imprisoned for it as well.  

The Cannabis plant is above all the governments of the world- it has the power to heal, cure, and save the planet.

Indoor Incredibles grow

Incredibles edibles company indoor grow in Colorado.

As an observer of the spaces between the small family farmer to the small indoor growing operations to large scale grows indoor and outdoor- the goal is the same. Everyone is trying to stay in the business they love, make a living wage, room for growth, opportunity to compete in the market. Sadly the public and average Cannabis consumer is misinformed about what quality Cannabis is… it’s true and yes I said it, it’s not entirely their fault either. Quality Cannabis comes from all different ways of growing. The more one educates themselves again, makes a more educated consumer and a smarter Cannapolitan!

Above: Buds & Roses in Studio City, their indoor grow.

I don’t judge Cannabis by how its’ grown, I don’t discriminate against any kind of CLEAN Cannabis. I look for other factors like Terpenes and total Cannabinoids over just THC%. That said, I generally can out smoke most of my friends.

Pay attention to your nose, it knows what your body will enjoy. That’s one of many things I miss about medical Cannabis in California; before regulation there was the ability to smell your Cannabis before your purchased it. We really do need to demand from the regulators that they give these things back on the retail side because it really does make a difference to a lot of consumers, myself included. Now my talk became a rant, but I think if you’re still reading, you feel me.

Above: me at Cherry Kola Farms few years ago.

4/20 Recommended Watch & Smoke

I recently had the pleasure of watching the newly released documentary film, Lady Buds. This movie has been years in the making and I really appreciated how real they kept it. The film was superb across the board, cinematography, direction, sound, everything. The stories that were chose to be featured were women from all scopes of Cannabis activism and business. I HIGHLY recommend this film to watch on this 4/20, these women are bad asses! The more informed you are, the better choices you can make when purchasing Cannabis from your chosen retailer. Lady Buds, The film is now available on a number of streaming services including Amazon Prime Video, Starz, You Tube and more. Check out the trailer here:


Lastly, if you’re ever in doubt about questions that you have about Cannabis or the use, don’t be afraid to ask someone with experience for help.

Here’s a great checklist guide for having an outstanding 4/20!

Cannapolitans love to share their Cannabis and the best methods to enjoy it!

All the very best for a safe and enjoyable 4/20 to all my fellow Cannapolitans, (including Cannapolitans in training.) Happy 420!

Lisa Kaler,

Founder & Editor of Cannapolitan