When four high school students set out on a quest to find a hidden treasure — a hidden weed grove tucked away in Point Reyes, California — they inadvertently created a language and a ritual. In stoner lore, they are known as the Waldos, but back then they were four high school students who named themselves after the schoolyard wall they used to lean against after hours and stumbled upon a lasting identity: 420.
Today, those numbers are more than just code, more than just secretly inviting someone to smoke weed with you — it’s a message of understanding, awareness, togetherness. After all these years, we continue to celebrate April 20, this hybrid of a stoner holiday, weed Black Friday, and celebration of the battles won and the rallying cry to continue the fight towards marijuana legalization and access.
So on this sacred day, take a seat, hit it twice, and enjoy “’Twas the Night Before 4/20,” with apologies to Clement Clark Moore:
‘Twas the night before 4/20, when all through the grow
Not a trimmer was trimming, not even for show;
4:20 would be celebrated — not just this once,
But on Mondays and Wednesdays and Saturdays too,
On Tuesdays and Thursdays and Sunday nights through
Glass and ceramic and silicone shared
Between me and my friends, all so prepared
On the eve of 4/20 for a deep-thinking sesh,
That we’d ordered through Weedmaps — the delivery was near,
She’d be at my front door, with a bag full of cheer
And just like clockwork, my cell phone did chime,
Causing each of our heads, Edie, and Zeke, and Stella, and mine,
To perk up in unison, “It’s here so soon — ”
So I turned the doorknob, ready for our eighths all deliciously in bloom,
But lo and behold, who did we see?
None other than Mary Jane herself, the Deliverer of weed.
With a twinkle in her eye and a sack slung over her shoulder,
She chuckled to us, “ ’Sup friends, I’ve got your order.”
And out of her bag sprung oodles of weed,
We ground it and wrapped it and rolled it with love,
And smoked it to the crutch as we soared high above
We offered to smoke up MJ — it was the right thing to do,
But she had a job, to deliver all night — through and through
So she slung the sack again over her back and said before dipping out of sight,
“Happy 4/20 to y’all, and to y’all a good night!”
— McLean Swanson. Illustrations by Allena Braithwaite/Weedmaps