The Emergence of 420: The Bebes And The Waldos

We celebrate Christmas, Easter, King’s Day, Sinterklaas, the Sugar Festival and all kinds of other holidays and special events. On those days, however, we don’t celebrate getting high. Fortunately, there is 420. You may have heard of it, but what exactly is 420 and how did the term originate?

What does 420 mean?

You probably know that 420 has something to do with weed. You may also have heard that it comes from a time, namely 4:20 p.m. and that April 20 (4/20 in North America) is International Marijuana Day, even though this day is not officially recognized as a holiday. But what about the origin of 420? The date and time represent stoner and cannabis culture, but we rarely wonder why 420 actually exists and where it came from. There are several wild theories that attempt to explain its origins as a cultural phenomenon. In this regard, some stories are quite convincing, others quite far-fetched.

How 420 began

So, what are all these theories? Below, we briefly discuss some of the wild stories that not everyone agrees on. Still, they’re pretty interesting!

  • Some people believe that 420 refers to the number of chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. This may sound plausible, but there are a number of problems with this theory. First, the cannabis plant contains over five hundred compounds. Second, is this fancy or recognizable enough to become a worldwide phenomenon?
  • The idea that April 20 is the best time to plant your cannabis seeds sounds more convincing. In reality, of course, that does depend on where you live and whether you grow indoors or outdoors. While there is nothing wrong with this idea, not many people subscribe to it.
  • Others suggest that 420 is the code the police use to report cannabis-related crimes (reportedly in the US). But 420 is in fact the code for murder. It’s better not to think about that when you’re high!
  • Did you know that Adolf Hitler was born on April 20? It is not known if he was fond of weed, but at least he was not averse to a little meth[1]. Therefore, we can safely assume that 420 doesn’t have much to do with this man’s birthday.

The Bebes and the Waldos

Okay, enough speculation. So what is the generally accepted origin of 420? It hasn’t been proven, and probably won’t be again, but the general consensus is that “420” first came into use at San Rafael High School in sunny California (where else?). There are two separate groups of friends who claim to have coined ‘420’. They call themselves the Bebes and the Waldos.

Meet the Bebes

The Bebes are a group of friends who proudly appropriate the origin of the word. Their explanation is quite simple: classes ended at 4:20 pm, and then they met up to get high. Over time, they began to use “420” to refer to anything related to weed. It became the inside joke of the group. But the term spread like wildfire, eventually going global.

The Bebe

It all started with Brad Bann, known as “The Bebe. His nickname eventually led to the name of the group.

  • Spent most of his adult life touring. He was the guitarist and singer of a Frank Sinatra cover band.
  • He also records humorous songs of his own.
  • The Bebe still smokes pot occasionally, in honor of those good old days.

Wild Du

Dave Dixon, or Wild Du, is one of the original group members and a longtime friend of The Bebe.

  • According to The Bebe, Wild Du was with the group from the first moment “420” was mentioned.
  • Du and The Bebe pulled quite a few pranks together and were once arrested for annoying construction workers.
  • The two set up the ‘420 band’ and made the most hilarious songs together.
  • Du also sold knife sets on the California coast.
  • He still lives in San Rafael and occasionally smokes with the other Bebes.
  • He claims that the Waldos, who also want credit for the term 420, have admitted to him that their story is wrong, but that they do not want to acknowledge this publicly.


Puff is actually named Dan Dixon, and is another longtime member and brother of Wild Du.

  • Reportedly, he was very popular in school.
  • Puff and The Bebe joined the army together after school and served in Germany.
  • He then worked as a basketball coach and later became a caregiver and pharmacy assistant.
  • Today, he cares for his elderly mother-in-law and still smokes pot occasionally.
  • He claims that the Waldos tried to recruit him in an effort to bolster the credibility of their story.


Tom Thorgensen, a younger member of the Bebes, was probably one of the most enthusiastic stoners of the group.

  • Thorgy has loved weed since he was 12 years old.
  • The story goes that his mother offered to help him grow weed. Over time, he became the school’s dealer and eventually San Rafael’s most famous dealer. He has since stopped doing that.
  • These days he works as a carpenter. He enjoys his life, still smokes and refurbishes old cars in his spare time.

Hello Andy

Dave Anderson spent much of his time at Du and Puff’s house while attending school in San Rafael. He felt completely at home with the Bebes.

  • Andy remembers The Bebe getting hold of a microphone and making up strange police codes. These went like this, “One adam twelve. We have a 420 situation on 4th street. Send two units. Over”. He also did other unusual things, such as picking up a rock and selecting a random target, then exclaiming before throwing, “Estimate corner 420.”
  • Later Hello Andy delved into engineering, in which he is still active.
  • He is now 57, lives in Sacramento and still lights up a joint occasionally when he feels the need to celebrate something (like the Bebes’ 1st 420 reunion).

Bone Boy

You’ll find this one in every group: the driver. Get to know Bone Boy.

  • When the Bebes spun a joint after school, they did so in Bone Boy’s glistening blue 1966 Plymouth Barracuda. They then listened to The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and The Allman Brothers, among others.
  • Bone Boy drove the Bebes to all sorts of favorite smoking spots.
  • He claims that the teachers and staff at San Rafael High School met about how to deal with the Bebes and their antics.
  • One day, when Bone Boy had an appointment with The Bebe to smoke, The Bebe appeared in a golf cart. The Bebe saw Bone Boy’s face leave and assured him, “Don’t worry, no one is paying attention.”
  • Bone Boy had a long, successful music career. He is now 57 and lives in Huntington Beach, California.

The Worm

We don’t know much about The Worm. Not even his real name is known. Perhaps he wants to remain anonymous.

  • He hung out with the Bebes and joked with them during football practice. The Worm had an arm prosthesis and The Bebe remembers him as “a sincere gaming person. The Bebe: “I love that guy.”


One half of the Blue Boys, as the two younger Bebes were called by The Bebe. This name eventually stuck.

The Mead

The second half of the Blue Boys and the brother of Blue.

  • Hello Andy once saw the Blue Boys smooching with each other during a football practice. With an innocent look, they quickly walked up to the coach and asked him what time it was. The coach replied, “4:20,” to which they burst into laughter and ran away hard, leaving the coach puzzled.


Turkey is not originally from California and adds a southern touch to the group.

  • “You can recognize Turkey in a crowd by his Southern accent,” said The Bebe. If he hung out with the Bebes for too long, he would yell, “mah ass is grass” and quickly run home.
  • He also had “a mini bike that went 70km/h, one of our first means of transportation,” The Bebe said.

Meet the Waldos

The Waldos claim to have coined the term “420. Their story is slightly different. For example, they state that they met at 4:20 pm to search for a suspected weed farm. However, they never found this Valhalla.

Waldo Steve

Waldo Steve, or Steve Capper, is now the owner of a specialized credit union. He is still in contact with the other Waldos.

  • At one point in his career, he lost wealth to Bernie Madoff, the man behind the largest Ponzi fraud ever in U.S. history.
  • Many of his friends and some of Waldo’s still smoke pot. Waldo Steve, however, doesn’t smoke anymore. He doesn’t have much interest in weed anymore. He says, “I have to run a business. I have to stay sharp…. It’s fun, but it seems there’s karma involved if you do it too much.”

Waldo Dave

Waldo Dave, or Dave Reddix, is quite successful and works for Waldo Steve’s company as a credit analyst.

  • He is still in regular contact with the other Waldos, but no longer smokes, “I never really supported using weed, but it worked for me…. I’m sure ‘one of the 420 guys’ will eventually be on my tombstone.”

Waldo Mark and the other two Waldos

Waldo Steve says Waldo Mark and the other two Waldos are doing well. They lead successful lives and still enjoy a joint or bong on a regular basis.

  • Waldo Steve claims that one of them is successful in designing prints and graphics.
  • Another is the head of the marketing department of a vineyard in Napa Valley.
  • The last works for a roofing company, as head of the guttering department. He has a good life and enjoys the occasional bong or joint in his spare time.
  • All Waldo’s are in touch to this day.

420 and 710

Do you love 420 and think there should be more days to celebrate getting high? Then you’re in luck! 710 was used as a code when people wanted to buy cannabis oil. Why 710? Just read the numbers upside down and they will form the word ‘OIL’. This caught on quickly and was soon synonymous with concentrates, many of which are made up of oils. But what is 710 then? It’s not nearly as popular as 420, but will hopefully get more attention soon. 710 is all about celebrating the multi-faceted world of cannabis concentrates.

How do you celebrate 420?

With getting high, of course! But if you want to celebrate in style, you can add a little more sparkle to the special occasion with the following rituals.

Set your alarm clock

Without getting ahead of yourself, you obviously need to make sure you don’t miss the right time! To ensure that you do, you can set your alarm clock for 4:20 pm. That way, you’ll know exactly when to light up your joint. If you are in a public place, where everyone is participating in the festivities, this is probably not necessary. Then just wait for people to light up their joint and join in the fun.

Make awesome edibles

Of course, you can light up a joint at 4:20 pm. But if you really want to make April 20 special, you can also make edibles and spend the whole day getting stoned. When you incorporate cannabis into food, it leads to an incredibly strong high that lasts all day. Best of all, you can still spin a joint or fill a bong at 4:20pm. That’s what we call a win-win!

Watch a classic stoner movie

Want to make it an all-day party? Then put on a classic stoner movie, like “Cheech and Chong. After a long day of smoking, we can’t think of a better way to end the evening.

Search online for deals on 420

As 420 approaches, there are many seed banks that want to help you celebrate the day. So around April 20, you’ll find discounts on cannabis seeds, paraphernalia, merchandise and much more in many online shops. So take a look at the online offers and find out what deals you can score!

Experiment with weed

Are you planning to try something new? Then 420 is a great opportunity to do so! Is there a better day than International Marijuana Day to get a new experience? In our opinion, there isn’t! You can make it as crazy as you want; try vaping, concentrates, a gravity bong, or simply enjoy your all-time greatest hit! Bukket Bong (8) View

Every day it is 420!

But of course you don’t have to wait until April 20 to enjoy cannabis. If you love the cannabis plant, you can also celebrate your passion every day. After all, the term may have its origins in the time 4:20 pm. So if you smoke weed daily around that time, you’re doing 420 perfect justice!