KUSA – 420, 4:20, or 4/20. It’s more than just the debate over how to properly punctuate the pot “holiday.”

April 20 has long stood as the unofficial day to celebrate cannabis, however many people do not know why.

According to the extensive research done by 9NEWS staffers, (ok, maybe it wasn’t extremely extensive … ) there are a few reasons the date April 20 is significant, but most of them are unsubstantiated rumors.

Many people believe it to be the police code for “marijuana smoking in progress” was 4-20. But that’s actually not true. Though, interesting fact: 420 is actually the police code for homicide in some areas.

There are various other rumors, such as the Grateful Dead only stayed in room 420. That’s not true. That there are 420 chemical compounds in marijuana. Nope. There are about 315.

So what is it? It all comes back to San Rafael, Calif. in the late 1970s. Supposedly a group of high schoolers who called themselves the Waldos coined the term “420” to mean various things in regards to marijuana. They would hang out in front of a statue of Louis Pasteur near their school and smokeout at 4:20 p.m.

The phrase has become so prevalent that back in 2014, the Colorado Department of Transportation had to take down the mile marker 420 sign to try to prevent it being stolen.

(KUSA-TV © 2015 Multimedia Holdings Corporation
Source: http://www.9news.com/