The unreal real story behind "420"

Today is April 20, 4/20, a high holiday for cannabis enthusiasts. The story goes that fifty years ago, a group of high school students in San Rafael, California, about 40 minutes north of San Francisco, coined the phrase as code that it's time to partake. That's where the controversy begins. Apparently two groups of friends—the Waldos and Beebs—both claim to have started the meme. And each group calls bullshit on the other. From SFGate:

In one corner you have the Waldos, a group of former San Rafael High School students who claim they invented the phrase in 1971 when they met at 4:20 p.m. to search for a hidden cannabis garden. Major media outlets have retold this story, and the Waldos have taken a commercial interest in 420, creating a polished website promoting their story and partnering with Lagunitas Brewing Company, which sells a triple IPA called The Waldos' Special Ale.

In the other corner, you have the Beebs, a group of classmates who went to school with the Waldos and claim that their ringleader, Brad Bann, first used the phrase while smoking from a homemade bamboo bong in 1970[…]

Bann was smoking pot at his friend Dan Dixon's house on a Saturday afternoon when, according to Bann, Dixon asked him what time it was. Bann looked at the clock and said it was 4:20 p.m., adding, "We should load some bong loads."[…]

"I don't know if this can ever actually be resolved," [Waldos friend Craig] Saunders said. "I just hope that all of these people who were always hanging out and being friends don't try to separate. We were all there when it happened, and who knows for sure [who exactly invented it]. But it did happen in San Rafael High School in and around '71 and '72."