By David Downs, at SFGATE, April 20, 2019

The term “420” has evolved from a code for “time to toke up” among Northern California high school students in the late 1970s, to a marijuana subcultural meme, to a global rallying cry for cannabis-user liberation.

We talked to 10 noted growers, activists, retailers, and experts about 420’s meaning to them on the eve of the first 4/20 with commercial legalization in California.

How will you observe 4/20?

Chris Conrad, East Bay activist: Smoking out at Earth Day with my lovely wife, Mikki Norris.”

Has 420 lost its meaning now that cannabis is legal?

Conrad: “For the longest time, nobody knew what the mysterious 420 stood for anyway … until High Times revealed its secret. Then, after Senate Bill 420 was enacted, the number became enshrined in the broader vernacular. So I don’t think it’s lost its significance at all.”

Mikki Norris, East Bay activist: “Not at all. … We just need more public venues to party in style. That will require a change of the regulations, but we will get there.” —

Is 420 still used as a code word at all?

Norris: “Yes. We always notice when it’s 4:20 and start thinking it’s time to light one up. When an ad or someone says something is ‘420-friendly,’ it means that people allow or are open to cannabis use.”

How should 4/20 (4:20) be observed?

Click here to read the full story. Additional comments by Dale Gieringer, Debby Goldsberry, Aaron Justis, Jane West, Nikki Lastreto, Keith Stephenson,  Jamie Warm, Mario Sherbinski.  

Conrad: “I like to observe 4:20 when I can. The magic of 4:20 is to light up at the same time you know that thousands of other people are doing exactly the same thing. It creates a virtual community — we don’t have to see or hear or even know each other but we know that we all share this moment with cannabis and honor it with high honor. That feels pretty good.”

Norris: “”The best way to observe 4/20 is to be with lots of other cannabis consumers, sharing a joint or sacrament, listening to music, dancing, having great conversations, or enjoying some food — all the things cannabis enhances for us.

“It’s up to you about the daily observance of 4:20. Sometimes, when you still have a lot of work to do, it may be better to light up at 6:20 or 8:40 (two 420s). But, if you are done with your responsibilities, then observing 4:20 by smoking cannabis and taking a nice walk to enjoy nature is a wonderful thing to do.”