420: when is the day that celebrates cannabis culture, meaning of its name - and what happened at Hyde Park?

Events are usually held in different parts of the world, although this may not be the case everywhere this year due to the ongoing Covid pandemic

420 is an annual event which celebrates cannabis around the globe, but when does it take place and where does it get its name from?

Here’s everything you need to know.

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When does 420 take place?

420 takes place on 20 April every year, with people around the globe coming together to celebrate the green herb (Photo: Shutterstock)

420 takes place on 20 April every year, with people around the globe coming together to celebrate the green herb.

Events are usually held in different parts of the world, although this may not be the case everywhere this year due to the ongoing Covid pandemic.

Participants of the event usually aim to bring awareness to the cause of the legalisation of marijuana, which is not currently legal on a recreational basis in the UK.

The biggest gathering for 420 in the UK usually takes place at Hyde Park in London, but it cannot go ahead this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing government restrictions.

Why is it called 420?

There are numerous stories regarding how 420 got its name, with one being that the name dates back to 1971, where a group of students at San Rafael High School in California - called The Waldos - would meet at 4.20pm every day to smoke marijuana.

The group then started to use the time in order to describe smoking and this is reportedly how 420 came to be.

The day is then said to land on 20 April due to the fact that in the United States the date is written as 420, which ties in with the name.

Other theories regarding how 420 came about include some believing it was police code for officers to use in order to signal when they’d caught someone smoking, with some saying the same is actually related to the chemical compounds in cannabis.

Is cannabis legal in the UK?

Currently, only medicinal cannabis is legal in the UK, with this only recently coming into place in 2018.

However, cannabis is still illegal to use on a recreational basis.

Cannabis is legal recreationally in Australian Capital Territory, Canada, some states in the United States and Uruguay.

It’s also legal on a medical basis with a prescription in numerous countries around the globe, including Austria, Denmark, Finland, Cyprus, Greece and New Zealead.

However, London mayor Sadiq Khan recently said he will establish a new commission which will examine the use of drugs in the capital if he is re-elected as the city’s mayor in May.

Mr Khan pledged to start a group of independent experts for “fresh ideas” if he wins in the 6 May election, with experts from fields including criminal justice, community relations and public health.

He intends for these experts to examine evidence on the harms of drugs, support services and prevention, as well as the effectiveness of current laws and tackling the root causes of crime.

The Guardian also reported that according to a source close to Mr Khan, the mayor would be willing to consider supporting changes to the legal status of cannabis if that is the view of the commission.

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