One fine fall day in 1971, an enlightened group of high school students at San Rafael High School in Marin County invented 420 as a secret code for cannabis. These Waldos were the younger generation of the Merry Pranksters, and I say that because both groups manifested an immense amount of creative energy, and continue to do so, and 420 was just a tiny piece of their contributions. Someday a book or film on the Waldos will be made that brings their story to life, because their 420 ceremony is now as big (or bigger) on the astral plain as the Prankster’s Magic Bus, which means 420 is approaching Wizard-of-Oz like significance in the universal group mind.
Like the Pranksters, the Waldos were sacred clowns who invested fun into all their adventures, and both used cannabis as a tool to elevate those energies. There are lots of lessons to be learned, but the most important is the necessity to band together in groups to pass through life’s ceremonies. Both the Waldos and Pranksters had strong harmony that keeps them unified to this day. You can’t manifest culture on your own, it has to be done in groups. You’ll also notice both the Pranksters and the Waldo’s have a zen-like appreciation for living-in-the-moment, and injecting theatricality into daily life to invest it with deeper meaning.
I organized 420 ceremonies for a long time before I discovered the Waldos, and when I finally flew out to meet them, I ended up jamming and playing with them for days. In fact, It was very similar to what happens when Ken Babbs and I get together. Someday I hope we can bring all my jam buddies across the world together for an epic 420 jam session.
This was actually my first year in a long time celebrating 420 in New York City. I took the afternoon boat ride around Manhattan with the original Cannabis Cup Band on Saturday. It was an epic experience and I got to share some thoughts about cannabis and spirituality, and we lit the seven candles. We could use a daily 420 boat ride like this because it sells out instantly.
Check out the amazing Cannabis Cup Band in the video and let me know if you want to book them for a 420-friendly event as they are one of the greatest reggae bands in North America. And while you are at it, consider booking one of my other bands: The Temple Dragon Band or The Original Soul Assassins. We don’t require performance fees, just travel expenses.