Here’s Bob Weir Hanging Out with the Group Credited with Coining “420”
There have been a lot of stories and hypotheses over the years as to where exactly the term “420” came from and how it got so closely associated with marijuana culture, but one of the more widely accepted explanations features a group of friends known as the “Waldos” and their after-school activities when they were in high school together in Marin County, CA, and fellow Californian and friend of Mary Jane Bob Weir recently hung out with the Waldos after Dead & Company’s June 3 show at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA.
As the story goes, the Waldos–a.k.a. Steve Capper, Mark Gravitch, Dave Reddix, Larry Schwartz and Jeffrey Noel–started using the term “420” in the early ’70s to let each other know of their plans to smoke together after school ended near the statue of Louis Pasteur at San Rafael High School. 420 Intel adds to the legend, noting that after Reddix’s brother helped him become a roadie for Phil Lesh, “420” spread among the Grateful Dead faithful, ultimately leading to a Deadhead flyer about smoking on 4:20 on April 20 that was subsequently published in High Times, which also picked up the term’s usage.
So it all comes full circle (or even a full 420 degrees), with Weir meeting up with the Waldos decades later. No official word on how the group decided to pass the time together, but it’s probably safe to assume Bobby had the best stuff out of the six.