Utakis, Sharon UTAKISS at MAIL.ECU.EDU
Mon Jan 24 19:51:19 UTC 2000

Last semester I had my freshman composition students at East Carolina
University research a slang term, and one of my students chose the term
"4:20".  She defined this as "a universal time to smoke marijuana".  Part of
the assignment was to try to track down the origin of the term.  My student
found that "4:20" supposedly originated from a California police code 4-20,
but wasn't able to document this.  She did talk to several people in police
departments in the Raleigh/Durham and Greenville areas of North Carolina,
but none of them had heard of the term.  She found that the term is fairly
widespread among high school and college students in this area, among both
pot-smokers and non-smokers.

-Sharon Utakis, perpetual lurker
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC
> ----------
> From:         Greg Pulliam
> Reply To:     American Dialect Society
> Sent:         Sunday, January 23, 2000 9:27 PM
> Subject:      four-twenty
> I have heard that _four-twenty_ (4:20) is a pot-smokers' code-word
> for "It's time to smoke a joint."  Has anyone else heard this, and
> does anyone know where it comes from?
> -
> Greg

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