The Tin Whistle

counterculture history and conspiracy theory

More thoughts on 420

with 3 comments

I was contacted today by a reporter working on an article on the history of 420. I’m happy to help any researchers interested in this topic. There’s a big difference between using the word “420” as a code, and organizing a ceremony. The idea of 420 ceremonies really spread around the world primarily through the Cannabis Cup, which was attended by influential stoners from around the world. Below are some of the questions I was asked, and the answers I gave.

I have the HT edition with the flyer and in bold it states “Get together with your friends and smoke pot hardcore.”

HT didn’t publish the flyer, they published Bloom’s selective excerpts from the flyer. The purpose of the flyer was to attract people to an annual ceremony on Mt. Tam.

It’s abridged? I didn’t know that.

I saw the entire flyer. It was for a ceremony on Mt. Tam. At the time I was researching Soma and the Sakka culture, and shouted out “THIS IS IMPORTANT!” Bloom thought it was ridiculous. He wouldn’t even participate in my 420 ceremonies, which I began that very day. The most important thing to realize about counterculture ceremonies is they are always rooted in improvisation. The Waldos were masters of improvisation. But the Waldos did not create the Mt. Tam ceremony. That was created by the kids in their high school who came later on, their younger brothers and sisters created that ceremony, but it stayed on Mt. Tam and never moved…until the Cannabis Cup. Bloom started his campaign to write me out of the history of 420 last year. When he published his current story, I’d finally had enough. He was there, he knows the truth. He also knows that he resisted everything I was doing all along the way.

I guess he’s passionate about crediting the Deadheads.

Jack Herer was a lifelong Deadhead and sold most of his books on Dead Tour. Jack’s first 420 ceremony was at the Cannabis Cup.

I think Wavy-Gravy’s ‘eternity’ comment puts it in the longest term perspective. It’s his way of saying “so what?”

You can pick any form of spirituality, it all works. The secret, however, is that you have to believe. I wrapped my deepest beliefs around 420 from the moment I became aware of it. I remain very close with the Waldos, who deserve a place in history alongside the Merry Pranksters. The Temple Dragons should get more credit for spreading 420, especially Rocker T. So what? So what, Merry Pranksters? So what, Congo Square? So what, cannabis spirituality? There’s something deeper going on here than just having a party, that’s what. I was the first person to announce cannabis was Soma of the Rig Veda, at least in North America to my knowledge. It was during my investigations of the historical use of cannabis that I became aware of 420. Bloom handed me the flyer. He then wrote a story about how silly the whole thing was, after I already told him I was going to reorganize my spiritual beliefs and events around the concept of 420. Thousands of people came through these events for ten years. Yet today, Bloom asserts the ceremonies I created did nothing to spread 420? The people involved know better. I’m not trying to take credit for 420, and I’ve made it clear what I think 420 should be about: “A day of peace in the drug war,” but after Jack Herer died, in wishes with Jack’s family, I asked people to also remember Jack on that day. But if you are going to write the true history of 420, please never forget the Temple Dragon Crew!

Written by Steven Hager

April 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm

3 Responses

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  1. I know I got high with Jack at the Colorado National Rainbow Famliy of Living Light…near Paonia,Colorado 1992, inside the camp at a little place called the “420” cafe. The cafe was just a dirt kitchen that only specialized in one thing and that was 420 , horns blew brothers and sisters yelled “420” it was a special time for sure. when all the stash and goodies came out .As for the Temple Dragons, Well, I can only speak for myself , we are but just humble servants on the path.Could 420 have been one of those “100 monkey ” things.. that just expands with stoner lore? I know I give thanks for the plant and anytime of day we can set and commune with each other!But 420 is a special time of day and ceremony that I know Pheonix 420, 622 ,and many others on the trail of the fun vibe help manifest at the Cannabis Cups,the Whee festivals…Give Thanks!

    Alec Pearce

    April 16, 2012 at 10:28 am

    • I went to the Colorado National and invited Jack to camp with me. Up on the hill overlooking main circle, in a grove of trees, not far from Frenchie’s camp, I built a Hemp Info Booth, where Jack spoke at 420 when he was able (he’d forgotten his ulcer medication, and no one could figure out what was wrong for days). Anyway, the crew who helped me with that booth, and helped nurse Jack, they were probably the ones yelling, “it’s 420!” as we always had a big crowd assembled for our 420 service. I believe this is where Amazin’ Dave brought me around to your teepee one day to intro you and your wife as people I should know. You weren’t there, but I could see you had a swell teepee.

      Steven Hager

      April 16, 2012 at 10:41 am

      • The ceremonial history of the Cannabis Cup is unique and important. No other event was dedicated to spritiual rights issues involving cannabis. The ceremonies we created at the Cup are worthy of respect and recognition. That’s really the point of this exercise in 420 history. Before revealing the rituals from the Cup, one deserves to learn why those ceremonies are even worth knowing in the first place.

        Steven Hager

        April 16, 2012 at 10:46 am

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