Warren Haynes, the Allman Brothers Band guitarist, routinely plays with the surviving members of the Grateful Dead, now touring as The Dead. He’s just finished a Dead show in Washington, D.C. and gets a pop quiz from the Huffington Post.
Where does 420 come from?
He pauses and thinks, hands on his side. “I don’t know the real origin. I know myths and rumors,” he says. “I’m really confused about the first time I heard it. It was like a police code for smoking in progress or something. What’s the real story?”
Depending on who you ask, or their state of inebriation, there are as many varieties of answers as strains of medical bud in California. It’s the number of active chemicals in marijuana. It’s teatime in Holland. It has something to do with Hitler’s birthday. It’s those numbers in that Bob Dylan song multiplied.
The origin of the term 420, celebrated around the world by pot smokers every April 20th, has long been obscured by the clouded memories of the folks who made it a phenomenon.
The Huffington Post chased the term back to its roots and was able to find it in a lost patch of cannabis in a Point Reyes, California forest. Just as interesting as its origin, it turns out, is how it spread.
It starts with the Dead.
It was Christmas week in Oakland, 1990. Steven Bloom was wandering through The Lot – that timeless gathering of hippies that springs up in the parking lot before every Grateful Dead concert – when a Deadhead handed him a yellow flyer.
“We are going to meet at 4:20 on 4/20 for 420-ing in Marin County at the Bolinas Ridge sunset spot on Mt. Tamalpais,” reads the message, which Bloom dug up and forwarded to the Huffington Post. Bloom, then a reporter for High Times magazine and now the publisher of CelebStoner.com and co-author of Pot Culture, had never heard of “420-ing” before.
The flyer came complete with a 420 back story: “420 started somewhere in San Rafael, California in the late ’70s. It started as the police code for Marijuana Smoking in Progress. After local heads heard of the police call, they started using the expression 420 when referring to herb – Let’s Go 420, dude!”
Bloom reported his find in the May 1991 issue of High Times, which the magazine found in its archives and provided to the Huffington Post. The story, though, was only partially right.
It had nothing to do with a police code — though the San Rafael part was dead on. Indeed, a group of five San Rafael High School friends known as the Waldos – by virtue of their chosen hang-out spot, a wall outside the school – coined the term in 1971. The Huffington Post spoke with Waldo Steve, Waldo Dave and Dave’s older brother, Patrick, and confirmed their full names and identities, which they asked to keep secret for professional reasons. (Pot is still, after all, illegal.)
The Waldos never envisioned that pot smokers the world over would celebrate each April 20th as a result of their foray into the Point Reyes forest. The day has managed to become something of a national holiday in the face of official condemnation. This year’s celebration will be no different. Officials at the University of Colorado at Boulder and University of California, Santa Cruz, which boast two of the biggest smoke outs, are pushing back. “As another April 20 approaches, we are faced with concerns from students, parents, alumni, Regents, and community members about a repeat of last year’s 4/20 ‘event,’” wrote Boulder’s chancellor in a letter to students. “On April 20, 2009, we hope that you will choose not to participate in unlawful activity that debases the reputation of your University and degree, and will encourage your fellow Buffs to act with pride and remember who they really are.”
But the Cheshire cat is out of the bag. Students and locals will show up at round four, light up at 4:20 and be gone shortly thereafter. No bands, no speakers, no chants. Just a bunch of people getting together and getting stoned.
The code often creeps into popular culture and mainstream settings. All of the clocks in Pulp Fiction, for instance, are set to 4:20. In 2003, when the California legislature codified the medical marijuana law voters had approved, the bill was named SB420.
“We think it was a staffer working for [lead Assembly sponsor Mark] Leno, but no one has ever fessed up,” says Steph Sherer, head of Americans for Safe Access, which lobbied on behalf of the bill. California legislative staffers spoken to for this story say that the 420 designation remains a mystery, but that both Leno and the lead Senate sponsor, John Vasconcellos, are hip enough that they must have known what it meant. (If you were involved with SB420 and know the story, email me.)
The code pops up in Craig’s List postings when fellow smokers search for “420 friendly” roommates. “It’s just a vaguer way of saying it and it kind of makes it kind of cool,” says Bloom. “Like, you know you’re in the know, but that does show you how it’s in the mainstream.”
The Waldos do have proof, however, that they used the term in the early ’70s in the form of an old 420 flag and numerous letters with 420 references and early ’70s post marks. They also have a story.
It goes like this: One day in the Fall of 1971 – harvest time – the Waldos got word of a Coast Guard service member who could no longer tend his plot of marijuana plants near the Point Reyes Peninsula Coast Guard station. A treasure map in hand, the Waldos decided to pluck some of this free bud.
The Waldos were all athletes and agreed to meet at the statue of Loius Pasteur outside the school at 4:20, after practice, to begin the hunt.
“We would remind each other in the hallways we were supposed to meet up at 4:20. It originally started out 4:20-Louis and we eventually dropped the Louis,” Waldo Steve tells the Huffington Post.
The first forays out were unsuccessful, but the group kept looking for the hidden crop. “We’d meet at 4:20 and get in my old ’66 Chevy Impala and, of course, we’d smoke instantly and smoke all the way out to Pt. Reyes and smoke the entire time we were out there. We did it week after week,” says Steve. “We never actually found the patch.”
But they did find a useful codeword. “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,” Steve says. “Our teachers didn’t know what we were talking about. Our parents didn’t know what we were talking about.”
It’s one thing to identify the origin of the term. Indeed, Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary already include references to the Waldos. The bigger question: How did 420 spread from a circle of California stoners across the globe?
As fortune would have it, the collapse of San Francisco’s hippie utopia in the late ’60s set the stage. As speed freaks, thugs and con artists took over The Haight, the Grateful Dead picked up and moved to the Marin County hills – just blocks from San Rafael High School.
“Marin Country was kind of ground zero for the counter culture,” says Steve.
The Waldos had more than just a geographic connection to the Dead. Mark Waldo’s father took care of real estate for the Dead. And Waldo Dave’s older brother, Patrick, managed a Dead sideband and was good friends with bassist Phil Lesh. Patrick tells the Huffington Post that he smoked with Lesh on numerous occasions. He couldn’t recall if he used the term 420 around him, but guessed that he must have.
The Dead, recalls Waldo Steve, “had this rehearsal hall on Front Street, San Rafael, California, and they used to practice there. So we used to go hang out and listen to them play music and get high while they’re practicing for gigs. But I think it’s possible my brother Patrick might have spread it through Phil Lesh. And me, too, because I was hanging out with Lesh and his band when they were doing a summer tour my brother was managing.”
The band that Patrick managed was called Too Loose To Truck and featured not only Lesh but rock legend David Crosby and acclaimed guitarist Terry Haggerty.
The Waldos also had open access to Dead parties and rehearsals. “We’d go with [Mark's] dad, who was a hip dad from the ’60s,” says Steve. “There was a place called Winterland and we’d always be backstage running around or onstage and, of course, we’re using those phrases. When somebody passes a joint or something, ‘Hey, 420.’ So it started spreading through that community.”
Lesh, walking off the stage after a recent Dead concert, confirmed that Patrick is a friend and said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the Waldos had coined 420. He wasn’t sure, he said, when the first time he heard it was. “I do not remember. I’m very sorry. I wish I could help,” he said.
Wavy-Gravy is a hippie icon with his own ice cream flavor and has been hanging out with the Dead for decades. HuffPost spotted him outside the concert. Asked about the origin of 420, he suggested it began “somewhere in the foggy mists of time. What time is it now? I say to you: eternity now.”
As the Grateful Dead toured the globe through the ’70s and ’80s, playing hundreds of shows a year – the term spread though the Dead underground. Once High Times got hip to it, the magazine helped take it global.
“I started incorporating it into everything we were doing,” High Times editor Steve Hager told the Huffington Post. “I started 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. But we blew it out into an international phenomenon.”
Sometime in the early ’90s, High Times wisely purchased the web domain 420.com.
Bloom, the reporter who first stumbled on it, gives High Times less credit. “We posted that flyer and then we started to see little references to it. It wasn’t really much of High Times doing,” he says. “We weren’t really pushing it that hard, just kind of referencing the phrase.”
The Waldos say that within a few years the term had spread throughout San Rafael and was cropping up elsewhere in the state. By the early ’90s, it had penetrated deep enough that Dave and Steve started hearing people use it in unexpected places – Ohio, Florida, Canada – and spotted it painted on signs and etched into park benches.
In 1997, the Waldos decided to set the record straight and got in touch with High Times.
“They said, ‘The fact is, there is no 420 [police] code in California. You guys ever look it up?’” Blooms recalls. He had to admit that no, he had never looked it up. Hager flew out to San Rafael, met the Waldos, examined their evidence, spoke with others in town, and concluded they were telling the truth.
Hager still believes them. “No one’s ever been able to come up with any use of 420 that predates the 1971 usage, which they had established. So unless somebody can come up with something that predates them, then I don’t think anybody’s going to get credit for it other than them,” he says.
“We never made a dime on the thing,” says Dave, half boasting, half lamenting.
He does take pride in his role, though. “I still have a lot of friends who tell their friends that they know one of the guys that started the 420 thing. So it’s kind of like a cult celebrity thing. Two years ago I went to the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam. High Times magazine flew me out,” says Dave.
Dave is now a credit analyst and works for Steve, who owns a specialty lending institution and lost money to the con artist Bernie Madoff. He spends more time today, he says, composing angry letters to the SEC than he does getting high.
The other three Waldos have also been successful, Steve says. One is head of marketing for a Napa Valley winery. Another is in printing and graphics. A third works for a roofing and gutter company. “He’s like, head of their gutter division,” says Steve, who keeps in close touch with them all.
“I’ve got to run a business. I’ve got to stay sharp,” says Steve, explaining why he rarely smokes pot anymore. “Seems like everybody I know who smokes daily, or many times in a week, it seems like there’s always something going wrong with their life, professionally, or in their relationships, or financially or something. It’s a lot of fun, but it seems like if someone does it too much, there’s some karmic cost to it.”
“I never endorsed the use of marijuana. But hey, it worked for me,” says Waldo Dave. “I’m sure on my headstone it’ll say: ‘One of the 420 guys.’”
Source: This article was originally published in 2009 by Ryan Grim on the Huffington Post website.
In this article, we will teach you how to make hash out of your kief. Keep reading to find out how.
But, first. Hello everyone, if you’re new here we’d like to welcome you into the MJMB community.Recently, we got a question from one of our loyal fans asking us what the best use of his kief (or keef, either way is correct) would be. For anyone who is not familiar with the term, let me explain a little about what it is.
What is Kief?
When a marijuana plant reaches maturity in its growth cycle trichomes are formed on the leaves and buds of the plant. These trichomes contain THC at a higher concentration than any other part of the plant. The buds and the leaves also contain THC, but trichomes which are the kief is the most potent part of the plant.
The word kief is derived from the Arabic word kayf, which means well-being or pleasure. I’m sure that we will get into this at a later date, but for now let me get into what to actually do with your kief.
What can you do with Kief?
Once you have a substantial amount collected there are several great things you can do with it. The first and most obvious is to just smoke it as it is; it can be smoked alone in a pipe or bong, mixed with marijuana in a joint, sprinkled on top of a bowl pack, or mixed with tobacco in a spliff. You can also purchase a kief press and turn it in to a little brick (this is hash, keep reading for more details), which will make it easier to smoke in a bowl and also helps it to burn longer.
You can use it to make THC infused butter or oil to use in brownies, cookies, or any recipes that call for the use of butter or oil; like pop corn, toast, garlic “herb” butter for steak, and anything else you could imagine. Check the Food Network for more ideas, haha.
But, what is the best use for kief? Based on our experience in Amsterdam and Christiania (an area of the city of Copenhagen, Denmark) where hash is prevalent, we have concluded that the best use for kief would be pressing it into hash. Essentially, when you press kief and make it into a little ball or a little brick you are making hash, very pure and potent hash. Hash can be produced through many methods, put pressing kief produces some of the best tasting and most potent hash that you can find. The easiest way to do this would be to use a kief press, but there are other ways. You can simply take a small amount and roll it into a ball in between your palms, this method is very cheap but can be very sticky and messy. If you have about as much as is in the picture above (3+ grams), you can use the following Marijuana Myth Busters approved method.
Take a piece of wax paper about 20 inches long.
Put your kief in the center, and fold it in half.
Get and iron, turn it on the lowest setting.
Put a tshirt or thin towel over the wax paper.
Apply pressure with the iron for about 30 seconds.
If you don’t have an iron you can do any combination of things to simply press all the kief together (i.e. put it in a book and step on it), but the method listed above is by far the best small scale method out there. The heat helps the trichomes bind together, but make sure you don’t burn anything because in that case you will be wasting THC. If anyone has any questions, feel free to post them and we will address them as they come in.
Article by Dave Zirin
Bob McNair, owner of the Houston Texans, resembles an outsized caricature of a twenty-first-century pro sports boss. He’s a 75-year-old Republican Party mega-donor, who made his fortune by selling his energy corporation to Enron in 1999 (give him credit for timing.) That’s what’s made Mr. McNair’s comments earlier this week all the more interesting. After saying he would never have a “persistent user of drugs” on his beloved Houston Texans, McNair made a point to add, “I’m not talking about someone who smoked marijuana.”
This might sound about as radical as a Brooklyn Without Limits T-shirt, but for decades the NFL officialdom has discussed marijuana and players who “do pot” like they were bit players from Reefer Madness. In this light, McNair’s statement is more than tacit acceptance of something players have been doing for decades. It’s connected to weed’s recent legal emergence from “the cannabis closet.”
State referenda earlier this month legalized small amounts of marijuana for personal use in Colorado and Washington State. These votes threaten to raise a massive legal and public relations headache for the NFL. Two of their teams, the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, now play in states where marijuana is legal. This could have implications for where players choose to go in free agency as well as how players desire to treat their injuries. As a top player who asked to remain anonymous said to me, “I’d rather use marijuana edibles or vaporizer to manage pain over prescription pain pills. Much less addictive and less harmful to kidneys and liver.”
The NFL is trying to nip this, please pardon the expression, in the bud. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello didn’t even let the Election Night confetti fall to the floor before he told USA Today, “The NFL’s policy is collectively bargained and will continue to apply in the same manner it has for decades. Marijuana remains prohibited under the NFL substance abuse program. The Colorado and Washington laws will have no impact on the operation of the policy.” In addition, NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal made it even more crystal-clear: “Broncos and Seattle Seahawks have been warned. ‘It’s legal’ won’t be a valid excuse.”
Aiello’s statements sound very iron-clad. The problem is that even by the NFL’s own guidelines, they are not actually true. As Mike Florio on profootballtalk.com pointed out, “The policy prohibits only the ‘illegal use’ of marijuana. While players may not abuse legal substances like alcohol, legal drugs and alcohol may be used.”
Aiello is of course correct that marijuana is on the banned substance list, the content of which is collectively bargained with the NFL Players Association. However, the other legal prescription and non-prescription drugs on that list like ephedrine and adderall have a performance-enhancing as well as a health-endangering component. They can help you train harder, put a brutal strain on your heart and, if taken outside a doctor’s care, be very dangerous. Unless your name is Joey Chestnut and your goal is winning a hot dog eating championship, there is no “performance enhancing” aspect to ingesting weed, and unless your munchies preference involves saturated fats and cholesterol, your heart will be just fine.
Unspoken, amidst the jokes about Denver truly playing in Mile High Stadium, is the fear in the NFL’s front office that a league-wide relaxed marijuana policy in accordance with state laws would be a public relations nightmare. In the bizarre macho ethos of the NFL, alcoholism is ignored, pain killer abuse is encouraged and other violent, off-field behavior is winked at because these are byproducts of the kind of destructive masculinity that the NFL markets every Sunday. Marijuana, in contrast, is for hippies, beatniks and long-hairs.
In reality, weed wouldn’t turn NFL players into extras from Half-Baked. Players will use marijuana either to wind down after a game, as a healthier, less addictive alternative to alcohol, or as a way to manage their pain. This last point is particularly explosive for the NFL. Amidst lawsuits, suicides and documentaries, there is unprecedented attention being paid to the physical toll players have to endure, particularly concussion and brain injury. Medical marijuana is recommended by doctors for headaches, light-sensitivity, sleeplessness and loss of appetite—all of which happen to be symptoms associated with concussions. The idea that the league would deny a player their legal pain relief of choice seems barbaric. It’s their pain and their right to treat it however they see fit.
One active NFL veteran who lives in a state where there is legal medicinal marijuana said to me, “A part of me always wanted to be the first player to test positive, then be able to present [Roger Goodell with] a prescription from my physician and dare him [to do something].”
A player will emerge to challenge the NFL’s policy on grounds that it inhibits their ability to treat their own pain. The NFL will almost certainly go Reefer Madness in response. The NFL thinks they’ll have the public on their side, but they might be in for a rude awakening. Maybe Bob McNair can meet Roger Goodell is Seattle, roll a fat joint and say, “Goodie? You need to chill the hell out.”
For those of you who did not come here to read a lengthy discussion of this topic, the answer is yes. It is perfectly fine for someone who has smoked or even regularly smokes marijuana to donate blood. The Red Cross is very explicit on this topic and states that “marijuana or alcohol use does not necessarily disqualify you from giving blood as long as you are feeling well.” It is important to note that a blood donation center is unlikely to accept your donation if they believe that you have recently consumed either alcohol or marijuana. Also, while marijuana and alcohol will not disqualify you from giving blood, intravenous drug use at any point in your lifetime will disqualify you as will various other medical conditions and other assorted criteria. A helpful guide on donating blood which was put together by the Red Cross can be found here.
Now, the reason this is acceptable and does not harm the recipient of a blood transfusion is because your body metabolizes THC into two different chemicals. The first of which is 11-OH-THC which is also psychoactive like THC. Some scientists and doctors believe that the reason the munchies are delayed is because 11-OH-THC causes the munchies and your body must take time to metabolize THC before 11-OH-THC is present in your blood stream. This process happens relatively quickly as your liver filters blood continuously. Enzymes in the liver continue metabolizing these chemicals and turn the 11-OH-THC into 11-nor-9-Carboxy-THC which is non-psychoactive. This takes several hours and by the time that there is no THC nor 11-OH-THC in your system you are no longer high. So, when the Red Cross says that your donation is unlikely to be accepted if the blood donation center staff believe you have recently consumed marijuana, they are in effect making sure that your body has broken down any psychoactive chemicals that your blood may otherwise contain. This makes it acceptable to donate blood even if you are a regular marijuana smoker as no recipient of your blood would be taking any psychoactive chemicals into your body which may otherwise cause them to feel high.
Ethically, some people say that marijuana smokers should not donate blood as there THC laden and generally dirty,trashed, second-rate excuse for blood is unsuitable for an infant, toddler, child recipient. However, as we have just discussed by that point in time your blood contains no psychoactive chemicals, and it might be argued at that point in time that it is actually more harmful for people with high cholesterol to donate blood. In our opinion, it actually defies our moral and ethical beliefs to not donate blood as often as you can. How often you can donate will differ by blood center and by the type of donation you are giving, so check with you local blood center, but its safe to say you are eligible 6 times per year. The Red Cross states that you can save up to 3 lives by donating blood just once. So, get out there do it. Hope this cleared up a few things for everyone.