If you are headed east along Interstate 70 in Colorado, don't look for the 420 mile marker. There is enough highway to go that high, in fact there is 450 miles. But jokesters had been stealing the Colorado 420 mile marker so much, Colorado highway officials decided to try something a little different. Now there is an I-70 Colorado mile marker 419.99.
420 is a term associated with weed smoking sub culture. "420" has been used to refer to April 20th as "weed appreciation day". It can be used as the time of day or it simply can just be a reference to smoking marijuana anytime. The origin of the term "420" can probably be traced to a group of high school students from the 1970's in San Rafael, CA who called themselves "The Waldos". Apparently they were planning on finding a special stash of cannabis and their meet up time was 4:20pm.
Now, the term 420 is so common that it is used everywhere that marijuana is used. Of course, with the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, 420 is now a legal practice. So it is no surprise that Colorado mile marker 420 continued to disappear so regularly. It would be something of a trophy for any fan of smoking weed.
CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford told the Denver Post on Friday that they really have changed the sign to 419.99. "Obviously people steal these signs," Ford said. "In the past, if a sign was stolen too much, we wouldn't replace it. This is sort of an innovative way for us to keep the sign there." The 420 sign was not the only one finding its way into the homes of admirers. Apparently, the sign for mile marker 69 kept getting taken as well. Ford said they replaced that sign with a mile marker 68.5.
As recreational marijuana use and costs continue to get "higher", Colorado is sure to see more tourists visiting their state to get in on the action. They just won't be able to visit the Colorado 420 mile marker.