By Sophia Waterfield and Holly Snelling

Cannabis - a way of life for some and a controversial topic for others. But there's no doubt that it has the potential to affect everyone in the U.S., whether it's the politicians debating legalization or cancer patients trying to get medicinal marijuana.

On the lighter side of marijuana culture, April 20 has become known as "420 Day," a reference to the now mythical moment when weed smokers gather together to bring a relaxing close to their day.

In 1971, five high school students—Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz, and Mark Gravich—in San Rafael, California, had a plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop they had learned about.

They set 4:20 p.m. as their meeting time and used the phrase "4:20 Louis" as their code when referring to the plan. Eventually, it was shortened down to "420."

The high schoolers also had links to the band Grateful Dead, via Reddix's older brother who was friends with band member Phil Lesh, according to Associated Press. This apparently led to backstage marijuana smoking sessions with the band's roadies and crew, who picked up on the code word.

The real spread of the code phrase began when a Grateful Dead flyer advertised "420" as the password for stoner culture. While it remained for years in the realm of weed mythology, more recently the high school friends have gathered evidence for their claims, which were apparently convincing enough for the Oxford English Dictionary to immortalise it in their lexicon, Associated Press reported. 

There are several ways to celebrate 420 Day. Most people will settle for a smoke at 4:20 p.m., while others will attend festivals or take up special deals associated with the day. 

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