Documentation & Verification

The Waldos have MULTIPLE pieces of physical evidence / proof that they were using the term ‘420’ in cannabis context dating back to the early 1970’s, many decades before the rest of the world, and media picked up on the slang. There is no earlier evidence of ‘420’. The items are preserved in a high-security bank safety deposit vault, they have been and will continue to be available for inspection/documentation by Official Press.

Some of the items include:

Letter From College

Early 1970’s U.S. Postmarked letter. Waldo Steve went off to college before the other Waldos. Waldo Dave wrote to Steve referring to ‘Waldo’, and using ‘420’ in cannabis context. Furthermore, Waldo Dave refers to his/Waldo association with the Grateful Dead.

Letter From Patty

2nd Letter Early 1970’s U.S. Postmarked letter. In the very early 1970’s, a San Rafael High School lady friend, Patty, knew of the tales of The Waldos and made them a ‘420’ banner in an S.R.H.S. arts & crafts class in the style and textures of the era. The flag is dated because she wrote to Waldo Steve and explicitly referred to the ‘420 flag’.

The Original ‘420’ Flag

  • The flag is in the style of early 70’s arts and crafts–a batik, similar to a tie dye.
  • The flag is emblazoned with a large cannabis leaf—indicating the meaning behind 420.
  • Official school transcripts help date the flag.
  • The creator of the flag is still friends with the Waldos, living in Marin, and has met with credible official Press (along with the Waldos) to document its creation.
  • Forensic labs or auction houses may further date the flag by degradation of dyes, etc.

Letter From Across The Sea

3rd Letter Early 70’s International Postmarked letter. One friend of Waldo Steve, Ken, went to Israel to live on a Kibbutz. He wrote Steve using the term‘420’, complaining that there was a lack of cannabis on the Kibbutz. The author of the letter is still a friend and living in Marin.

Early 70’s S.R.H.S. Newspaper with Student Reference to ‘420’

The Waldos have a San Rafael High School ‘Red and White’ Newspaper dated early 70’s -- this is an original paper and not a photocopy or archived image. In the 'Question Man' column, a Waldo family member answers the Question Man with a simple answer of “420”.


Embossed Official Military Records

One Hundred Sixty Seven Pages of Official United States Coast Guard Records back up the time, place, people, and events of the Waldo’s Origin of ‘420’.

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Official School Transcripts

School records have been obtained that show the early 70’s San Rafael High School arts and crafts class where the 420 flag was created.

New 2018 Discovery of Additional Evidence/Letters

A group of early 1974 U.S. Postmarked Waldo letters with multiple references to ‘420’ has recently (2018) been discovered in storage. These were written to Waldo Steve’s friend Ken Blumenthal at home in San Rafael-Marin while away at college, mailed with a 10 cent Andrew Jackson Stamp, and filled with old-era jokes and other creative free-flow ramblings. (As with all of the other documentation they remain available for examination by credentialed journalists.)

We're In The Oxford English Dictionary

‘420’ and it’s Waldo’s Heritage has now made it into the Oxford English Dictionary. And yet...420 still remains a private joke ...unknown to much of the world’s population. The editors of the Oxford English Dictionary made contact with us late last year to examine and authenticate the evidence, and earliest usage of the term. Here is the Oxford Dictionary entry:

420 Oxford English Dictionary

‘420’ NOT a Police Code

The most widespread misconception/pervasive rumor about the origination of ‘420’ is that it started as a police code for being busted for marijuana. 420 is NOT a police code. Never was. Drug violations in California are recorded as a violation of the California Health and Safety Code which are all five and six digit codes sometimes separated by a decimal point. More specifically, drug laws are covered by Health and Safety code sections 11014.5 to 11550. Cannabis violations are covered by 11357 to 11362.9. For example: Possession of marijuana is 11357 HS. Marijuana for sale is 11359 HS. Transporting marijuana is 11360 HS. There is no special code for marijuana use in progress.

In the City of San Rafael California where 420 began, there are no city violations or infractions relating to marijuana or other drugs. There are no other districts anywhere else that use 420 as a police code for anything cannabis related.