Sensi Magazine April 2018 - Los Angeles Digital Edition
Apr 01, 2018 01:24PM
● By Amber Orvik
FOREFATHERS OF 420
OTHER THAN IT’S ICONIC SEVEN-POINTED LEAF, THERE’S NO MORE UNIVERSALLY RECOGNIZED SYMBOL OF CANNABIS—AND THE CULTURE THA T SURROUNDS IT—THAN THE NUMBER 420.
Despite early confusion regarding its origin, the term 420 has been traced back over 40 years to a group of teenagers known as The Waldos who would meet each day after school at 4:20 to get high and go hunting for a secret cannabis garden. This meeting time quickly morphed into their secret code for all things reefer-related. Over time, 420 was adopted and propagated first by the Deadhead community and then High Times magazine, until eventually, it evolved beyond the stoner subculture and into the mainstream mindscape. That’s why, each year on April 20, millions of cannabis enthusiasts around the world gather together to toke up, speak out and get down. Yes, believe it or not, it all began at a high school in San Rafael, California back in 1971.
Meanwhile, around the same time as The Waldos were inadvertently birthing the greatest marijuana meme of all time, a gay Vietnam veteran named Dennis Peron was restarting his life as a hippie pot dealer just across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Peron transformed his apartment into a sort of cannabis commune, where like-minded people could socialize, organize, cop a lid and get high. That space served as the inspiration for what would two decades later become the San Francisco Cannabis Buyer’s Club—the nation’s first cannabis collective, providing free medicine to those in need. It was there that Peron, along with a cadre of patients, providers, politicos, and protestors drafted the historic initiative called Proposition 215. In November 1996, after years of tireless effort by Peron and grassroots organizations throughout the state, Prop 215 was voted into law—beginning the era of medical marijuana in America.
Sadly, Peron passed away earlier this year—mere weeks after the legalization that his dedication and sacrifices paved the way for went into effect. So regardless of how you choose to celebrate the high holiday, I hope you’ll join me in a moment of silence at 2:15 p.m. to honor the memory of our community’s fallen founding father.
Happy 4/20 everyone.
Bobby Black - SoCal Managing Editor
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