For those unaware, April 20th has become the recognised international day for the celebration and advocacy for the legal consumption of cannabis. Tattoos and cannabis have had a similar history in culture, both being characteristics of outsiders which was once illegal in certain parts of the world but is more commonly becoming socially accepted and legal. The term originated from a failed attempt to find an abandoned marijuana crop in California in the early 70’s. A group of five high schools students arranged to meet at 4:20 on the grounds of San Rafael High School to go search for the crop. They made several attempts to find it, each time calling their plan and meeting time 420. Eventually 420 just became a code word for them to meet, smoke and get high.
The emergence of 420 into popular culture has been attributed to the Grateful Dead. One of the original group of the crop searchers went on to be a roadie for the band’s bassist Phil Lesh who called for 4:20 PM to be the socially accepted hour of the day to consume cannabis.
Even though there are many states in the US that have legalised cannabis consumption, the 20th of April is still a counter culture holiday where people celebrate and consume cannabis on an international stage. Events have been held from Hyde Park in London to Dunedin in New Zealand.
The popularity of 420 has led to some interesting side effects, namely the regular theft of signs which bear the numbers of 420. In Colorado the Dept. of Transportation replaced the Mile Marker 420 sign with one reading 419.99 as a way to deter the regular theft of the original sign. Similarly in Washington the mile marker 420 sign on the highway, was replaced with mile marker 419.9.
There are plenty examples of 420 or cannabis inspired tattoos but of the ones we’ve seen they are either really good or awful. A cartoon stoner tribute might seem like a great idea when you are young but you might feel differently about it when you are older. Even if they are very well executed, having a publicly visible cannabis or stoner tattoo will get you judged.
Below we have put together a collection of well executed cannabis tattoos for people who are truly dedicated to the cause.