Colorado, the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, is facing a related problem: mile marker signs depicting the number 420 are being stolen.
Colorado’s 9News spoke to Department of Transportation’s Amy Ford about the problem. She says:
So this is our way to test it out. So far it’s working. It’s a traffic safety thing. It’s a helpful thing to have these signs on the road. But people kept ripping them off.
You may be asking, test out what?
The new mile marker sign, placed on Interstate 70, about 148 miles east of Denver, which, instead of 420, reads 419.99.
Among tokers, 420 is a code that refers to the activity of partaking in pot. References to April 20th or 4:20pm are common, and there is a story suggesting that the association began with a group of high schoolers in the 70′s who would meet to smoke at 4:20 every afternoon.
After @journalistslike tweeted about the sign, 9News followed up, and found out that, sure enough, the old 420 signs are probably gracing many basements and party rooms, and the state may have found a sound way to prevent further thefts.
People kept stealing the 420 mile marker in Colorado. This was CDOT’s solution. pic.twitter.com/xDsZkTe0Fv
— StuffJournalistsLike (@JournalistsLike) January 10, 2014