52m | Apr 20, 2023

​​THE ORIGIN OF 420 - featuring Steve Capper & Dave Reddix of THE WALDOS (Episode 22). This month, stoners around the world will be celebrating our high holiday—April 20th, or 4/20. But how exactly did 420 become the official number of cannabis? Over the years, there have been several myths circulated about it: that it was some police code related to weed, or that it’s the number of chemical compounds in the plant … but believe it or not, the ultimate marijuana meme was actually started over 50 years ago by a group of teenagers in Marin County, California known as The Waldos. How it evolved from an inside joke amongst a handful of high schoolers into the worldwide phenomenon it is today is a truly remarkable story—one that you’re about to hear from some of the the founding fathers of 420 themselves. 

In this episode of Cannthropology, host Bobby Black speaks with two of the five original Waldos—Steve Capper and Dave Reddix, aka Waldo Steve and Waldo Dave, who explain the origins behind their groups’ name, how 420 became their secret code for weed, and how two counterculture institutions—The Grateful Dead and High Times —helped spread the 420 phenomenon around the world.  

The World of Cannabis Museum Project presents: Cannthropology—the potcast that explores the history of cannabis culture one artifact and interview at a time. Hosted by World of Cannabis executive director and marijuana media icon Bobby Black

Read our Cannthropology blog at and in our official media partner Leaf Magazine. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of this podcast, please contact us at



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The World of Cannabis Museum will showcase the influence of cannabis in art, music, film, news, medicine, and politics throughout the past century. From the early days of prohibition and "reefer madness," to its modern-day mainstream momentum and everything in between: from the legendary growers and breeders who created and propagated all of the iconic strains, to the smugglers who distributed them across the globe; from the activists who have fought for legalization, to the celebrities who have embraced it; from America’s headshops to Amsterdam’s coffeeshops; from the counterculture of the 1960s, the excesses of the '70s, and the Drug War hysteria of the '80s, to the rise of medical marijuana in the '90s and the march toward legalization and mainstream acceptance in the new millennium—all of this and more we plan to explore in this unprecedented exhibition. 

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