Great Britain

When is 420 and what’s the meaning behind ‘Weed Day’?

WEED Day, which has become known as 420 Day will see thousands of UK marijuana-users come together in London's Hyde Park for a mass smoke.

It is celebrated around the world but started in America - but why is it so popular today?

However, due to the current coronavirus lockdown measures, any large event like this is prohibited.

When is 420 Day and why is it celebrated?

Weed Day falls on April 20 every year.

In the US calendar, this date is written as 4/20 – digits that have become synonymous with cannabis culture.

In the USA, 33 states have legalised the drug (with a doctor's recommendation).

It is a day half of celebration and half a call to action - calling for the decriminalisation of the drug.

What relevance does 420 have to smoking cannabis?

Urban legend suggested that 420 was formerly the penal code that Californian police used to categorise marijuana cases.

However, this theory has been discredited as the digits are linked to trespassing offences.

Many believe that 420 culture first stemmed from the San Rafael High School in California.

In 1971, five students allegedly hatched a plan to meet at 4.20pm, where they embarked on a mission to find a plot of cannabis plants that were growing nearby.

Even though their mission was unsuccessful, rumour has it that 420 continued to be used as a secret code for marijuana.

Today, it remains a term used to describe the consumption of weed, especially at around 4.20pm in the afternoon.

How is Weed Day celebrated?

Festivities are widespread in North America, where observances have been held in locations including Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, and Parliament Hill in Ontario.

Cannabis lovers in other countries have also adopted the tradition.

Hyde Park, London, has proven a hotspot for Weed Day celebrations over the years.

Celebrations are also usually marked in Dunedin, New Zealand, at the University of Otago.

At some events, revellers have used the festivity to protest for the legalisation of marijuana.

In previous years, Snapchat has launched a Weed Day face filter option on April 20.

Is smoking cannabis legal in the United Kingdom?

The Home Office states that: “It remains illegal for UK residents to possess cannabis in any form.”

Growing, possessing or distributing the Class B drug is against the law, but some councils in the UK don’t pursue those who use cannabis for “personal use”.

The maximum punishment for cannabis possession is five years in prison and an unlimited fine.

If you are caught with cannabis you could be issued a warning or an on-the-spot fine of £90.

Cases of dealing or trafficking drugs can lead to convictions of up to 14 years in prison.

However, medical forms of marijuana are available over the counter or by prescription in the UK - but sales are heavily monitored and regulated.

Doctors were given the go-ahead to prescribe cannabis products to patients from November 1, 2018.

Thousands gather for pro-cannabis event in Hyde Park IN 2019

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