420 Disinfo Exposed

A former news editor of High Times continues his selective and self-serving history of 420. “In 1996, a person calling himself Steve Waldo contacted High Times claiming he and five friends had coined the term while they all attended San Rafael High School in Marin Country north of San Francisco in the early 1970s. So High Times named the Waldos the founders of 420.”

In truth, Steve Waldo contacted the 420 Tours website, not High Times. I’d just recently resigned as editor-in-chief of the magazine so I could concentrate on building events and shooting video and had spent six years promoting 420 ceremonies at the High Times office, at the Cannabis Cup, and at the Whee! festivals I created. The former news editor never participated in any of these 420 ceremonies and told everyone my “theory” about the Waldo’s inventing 420 was fake.

Because of the disinfo, many believe Deadheads created 420 ceremonies, which is not true. It was students at San Rafael High School that organized the first 420 ceremonies. The Waldos were fans of the New Riders of the Purple Sage, not “Deadheads.” The Deadheads got wind of 420 by reading High Times. Every Hemp 100 promoted the code for decades.

2 Replies to “420 Disinfo Exposed”

  1. I was the guy that received the angry email from the ‘waldos’ in 1996 they were angry because my company 420tours, the cup organizers from 1996-2003 were using the word 420 in a commercial way. I passed that email to Steve Hager and he went to San Rafael to investigate and validate their claim as to being the originators of the term. I agree with Steve Hager and also beleive that Bloom has his own axe to grind that lead to his opposite view as to the origin of the word. Bloom has no proof but Hager does..

    Michael Esterson – former cannabis cup organizer 1996-2003 and owner of 420 tours

    1. Actually, after years of denying the Waldos, now Bloom claims they did create 420. But he also asserts the Cannabis Cup had nothing to do with spreading the 420 ceremony around the world, and 420 was spread through the Grateful Dead scene and not through High Times events.

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