I guess we might need a category or tag for “info for old guys” whereby we all research and marvel at facts everyone under 35 in this society knows but about which we have not a clue.

Anyways, I and the wife – who could easily pass for 23 but just is not up on this stuff – were watching the “America’s War on Drugs” documentary on Showtime this evening. It started off well but devolved into an Oliver Stone-”JFK”-like blizzard-of-conspiracies screed. The guy captured tons of excellent video interviews and intermittently maintained a thin narrative logic of argument about the war on drugs, but he wasted it because, in my view, he was stoned when he made the film.

During the course of the documentary there was a reference to “420″ being a significant number or pop culture symbol for marijuana use. Neither of us had any idea what they were talking about.

But here is the answer from the mother of all wikis:

The teens would meet after school at 4:20 p.m. to smoke marijuana at the Louis Pasteur statue.[1] The term became part of their group’s salute, “420 Louis!”,[2] and became popularized in the late 1980s by fans of the Grateful Dead.[3]By extension April 20 (“4/20″ in U.S. date notation) has evolved into a counterculture holiday, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis.[4]

Obviously, I have a dog in the fight.