420 is the section number in the Indian Penal Code (enacted in 1860) that refers to the offense of cheating. Punishment for this cognizable offense is one to seven years in prison and/or a fine.

"420. Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property.
Whoever cheats and thereby dishonestly induces the person deceived to deliver any property to any person, or to make, alter or destroy the whole or any part of a valuable security, or anything which is signed or sealed, and which is capable of being converted into a valuable security, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine."1

At NJIT, the term 420-ing is often heard after physics and math exams, as in, "so and so were 420-ing so hard". Respective faculty departments have attempted to implement additional proctors and an updated Honor Code that stressed more responsibility in individuals. Residence Assistants and faculty hung posters with the new code on the walls throughout dormitory hallways and classrooms. Ironically, the bottom of each poster indicated that the code was heavily adapted from that of another university.

1The Indian Penal Code. http://www.indialawinfo.com/bareacts/ipc.html.

April 20th. Called 420 day by stoners because April is the 4th month of the year, making the date 4/20.
Just like the hour 4:20, it is used as an excuse to get together and get stoned (like one needs an excuse for that).

This is a type of sailing dinghy which is sailed by two people. This particular boat comes in three forms. The International 420, the Club 420 and the Collegiate 420. The first is dead in the U.S. While the latter two are used exclusively in the U.S. The specifications for all of them are:

The basic differences are: The International is the original. It is the lightest hull and was designed for performance and to be a trainer for the Olympic 470 class.

The Club came next. It made the hull heavier to give better durability. An untapered mast was also added to lower costs.

The Collegiate was adopted from the Club for use in college sailing. It is the same as the Club except for the fact that the trapeze and spinnaker were removed. This along with the FJ and Laser are the primary boats used in ICSA competitions.

The 420 is an excellent trainer for sailors aged 13-18 and is well established in junior sailing programs across the U.S. It serve as a good introduction to double-handed sailing as well as basic sail tuning.

I recently read an article on the significance of 420 that gave a few other meanings to the number.

In literature, apparently, the time 4:20 is a time for leaving, travelling, etc (Mark Twain), and Salmon Rushdie wrote in "Midnight's Children" that "420 has been, since time immemorial, the number associated with fraud, deception, and trickery."

It should also be noted that 4/20 was Adolf Hitler's birthday, as well as the date of the Columbine High School shootings.

And in the book "Jules et Jim" by Francois Truffaut, there is a line that says "angels always pass by at twenty minutes past the hour... at twenty minutes past and twenty minutes to the hour."

420 Around the World

When I was a student at the University of California at Santa Cruz, I lived on campus at Kresge College (named after the founder of Kmart). Although I was studying there in the late 1990's, that particular set of on campus apartments was still a hotbed of hippie and drug culture.

Not only did I hear many of the explanations written of above for the number 420's connection with marijuana:
  • date of first lab test
  • number of psychoactive chemicals in weed
  • politically significant

... but I also was witness to an April 20th ritual, where all the smokers gather their stash into one room and hotbox it (or, seal the room to conserve the smoke) for 24 hours.

Everytime a timezone would hit April 20th/4:20pm starting at the International Date Line, they would honor that slice of the world by lighting a new bowl and passing it around.

In between new bowls, they would assuage their munchies with potluck vegetarian food. Yum!
There are a number of stories about where 4:20 comes from.

One of the most widespread is that 420 used to be the /California|Monterey|Oakland|anyplace in Cali/ police code for marijuana smoking in progress. This is simply not true. Phish.net and 420.com both say that 420 is not the police code for anything anywhere.

They seem to support a story that a group of stoners from San Rafael calling themselves the Waldos came up with it around 1971 as a code for them to use during high school for anything pot-related when they couldn't talk about stoner stuff in front of parents or teachers. However, at this point the stories diverge. Phish.net claims that 4:20 was the time of day that the group would meet at a statue of Louis Pasteur to smoke. 420.com has a much more elaborate story. The Waldos got a map to a pot patch, and they agreed to meet at 4:20 at the Louis Pasteur statue to go look for it. They never found the patch, but had lots of fun looking, and started using 4:20 as a code for smoking. The Waldos were huge New Riders of the Purple Sage(Jerry Garcia's country band) fans, and 4:20 spread from them to the NRPS crowd, who spread it to the Dead crowd, which is everyone, which is why 4:20 is now universal slang for anything pot related.
The 420 is the next number in a series of numbers that matches numbers commonly used by the Babylonians, the 60 (60 minutes in an hour), and the 12(12 hours during daylight, 12 starsigns in the zodiac).

The series is made up by the smallest common multiple of the first n numbers, which is the smallest number that can be divided without a rest by the input numbers.

scm(1,2,3,4)=12, not 4*6=24, because 6 is already divisible by 2, 2*6=12 is divisible by 4
scm(1,2,3,4,5,6)=60, as 60 is already divisible by 6

Babylonian mathematics knew fractions, and there were cuneiform symbols for fractions, so one can imagine that the Babylonians liked to have numbers that could be evenly divided. So, they would like the 420.

btw. the smallest common multiple is to the gcd what, in the boolean algebra of logic, is the OR to the AND. However, there's no meaningful negation that would make the smallest common multiple and the gcd part of a boolean algebra.

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