There is a saying, among those who smoke and some who don’t, that “it is always 4:20 somewhere.” It’s usually to justify a toke at an off hour, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, it turns out this saying is wrong. It is not always 420 somewhere. Instead, rather, most of the time it is not 420 anywhere. It is 420 somewhere once an hour, but, unfortunately, that somewhere mostly spans over the Pacific Ocean. A recent study indicated that, even if the creatures of the sea could somehow light up, they wouldn’t be able to appreciate it anyway.
But let’s humor this. Let’s tease this out. Even if it isn’t always 420, the clock is still pretty generous with its 420s. There’s an automated site, 420WorldMap, programmed to tell you if it is currently 420 somewhere and, if it isn’t, where 420 will strike next. We reached out to them for support with this very, very important article. Some 420s happen to the densest urban populations on the planet. Others over the calm, open waters. So that leads the inquisitive mind to wonder: Of all the 420s, which one gets the most people lighting up worldwide?
The most populated time zone on the planet is UTC+8, which covers Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Western Australia, and China, among many other places. It’s something of a cheat because China grossly inflates this time zone. The country standardized their time to ‘Beijing Time’ or ‘China Standard Time’ (CST) since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1950. The country would be wide enough to cover at least three different time zones otherwise. They are rivaled only by Greenland for egregious time standardization.
When it’s 420 in China, it’s also 420 in Puerto Rico, parts of Brazil and the Canadian Maritimes, as Atlantic Standard Time, AST, is UTC+8’s opposite on the clock. Cannabis, however, isn’t known to be the drug of choice in China, which holds the lion’s share of this time slot’s population. So if we’re assuming the potency of a 420 by the potential of a 420, if every eligible smoker puffed, then 420 in UTC+8 and AST (3:20 EST/12:20 PST) would win.
But, of course, we know it wouldn’t be fair to grade one 420 by its potential over another 420 in actuality. No one wins an Olympic medal because they ‘could’ jump higher than the competition.
The beginning of 2018 marks California’s entry into the world of legal recreational marijuana, turning the Pacific Standard Time into a wall of smoke. So where else in the world shares 420 with the American West Coast? If it’s 4:20 PM PST, there’s a 4:20 AM in Arabia Standard Time, or UTC+3, where people in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar and even Moscow could join in if they wanted to.
The Netherlands has long had legalized marijuana and being held in the Central European Time, people across the continent, from France to Poland, could chime in. But despite the Dutch decriminalization of weed, the herb is better known as a tourism incentive than a local hobby. Less than 10 percent of the country admits to partaking in the legal herb. Iceland, however, punches way above its belt with nearly 20 percent of the country lighting up, though I suppose there’s not much else to do in the small, volcanic country. They use ol’ Greenwich Mean Time, which not only sounds like an episode of H.R. Pufnstuf but signals a 420 for the United Kingdom, Ireland, Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
Who has the most 420 420 isn’t an exact science. If it’s sheer numbers, then Hong Kong, and somehow St. John’s have it, but if it’s for likelihood of getting high that goes to Los Angeles, Seattle and Moscow. But the true spirit of 420 is that it’s always somewhere in your heart. Even if you live by Gilbert Island Time wayyyy out in the middle of nowhere.