In a move to prevent highway robbery, Idaho has been forced to replace cannabis friendly “420” mile markers with 419.9 markers. Idaho’s joins Colorado and Washington, who have also had to switch out their original 420 mile marker for the odd number.
Even though cannabis is legal in Oregon, Oregon is one of the many states that doesn’t have a highway that is long enough for a 420 mile marker. Since replacing the signs in Colorado, transportation Department spokeswoman Amy Ford said since the signs have been removed along Interstate 70, the theft problem has disappeared.
Fortunately for most of the country’s highway departments, only a few states have highways that cover enough distance to have mile markers with the cannabis friendly digits.
The number “420” has long been associated with marijuana, though its origins as a shorthand for pot are murky, the most widely accepted birthplace of the term is San Rafael High School, California. There, a group of young men who called themselves “the Waldos” claim that they came up the term after leaving school at 4:20 p.m. to search for a field of cannabis north of San Francisco. They never found the field, “We were smoking a lot of weed at the time,” says Dave Reddix or Waldo Dave, now a 59-year-old filmmaker. “Half the fun was just going looking for it.” The group began using the term 420. So did friends and acquaintances, who included – at a couple of steps removed – members of the Grateful Dead rock band. The term spread among the band’s fans, known as “Deadheads.”
In addtition to “Deadheads”, High Times Magazine began to heavily circulate the term in its articles, as well as the practice of smoking at 4:20 in its offices.
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