It’s 420 Day- Get Buzzed

Vintage comic Freewheelin Franklin smoking weed 1972

“Dope will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope,” was a favorite catch phrase of Freewheeling Franklin Freak, who was the most street smart of the 1970’s dope smoking comic book trio of stoner brothers “The Fabulous Freak Brothers .” Vintage comic “Further Adventures of Those fabulous Furry Freak Brothers” by Gilbert Shelton 1972

Toke up and rejoice weed smokers, it’s 420 Day again,

In honor of the only worldwide holiday celebrating marijuana, who better to celebrate it with than those 1970s’s comic book band of original Doobie brothers “The Fabulous Freak Brothers.”

Vintage Alternative Comic Book "A Year Passes Like Nothing With the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers" By Gilbert Shelton 1973 .

Vintage Alternative Comic Book “A Year Passes Like Nothing With the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers” By Gilbert Shelton 1973 .

This threesome of cold stone dopers who appeared in their own counter-culture comic books in the 1970s lived a life that revolved around procurement and enjoyment of recreational drugs,  particularly marijuana . None of them were concerned with employment since jobs were for the Establishment and the only  use for money was to score food (for their interminable munchies)  and drugs without getting burned by unscrupulous dealers or busted by the “fuzz.”

Smoking weed was the predominant theme that ran through all the comics and the group live in a state of blissful inertia punctuated by bursts of paranoia

The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers was created by Gilbert Shelton. Originally appearing in strip form in the underground newspaper  “The Rag” it was published in Austin Texas in 1968.

ad for underground comics Fabulous Freak Brothers 1971

Rip Off Press in San Francisco Calif were “Publishers of the finest in underground humor and satire, serving a distinguished reading pubic since 1969.” Sold at your local book stores or head shop.

In 1969 Shelton and 3 friends from Texas founded “Rip Off Press” in San Francisco  which  took over the publication of Freak brothers comics. The first compilation of their adventures “The Collected Adventures of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers” had its first printing in 1971.

Vintage alternative comic book 1970s Fabulous Freak Brothers

Besides the 3 brothers, there was Norbert “the Nark” an inept DEA agent who is continually trying and failing to arrest the Freak Brothers; Hiram “Country” Cowfreak a hippy who grows vast quantities of marijuana at his isolated farmstead; and Dealer McDope one of the trios dealers. 1972 comic published by Rip off Press

1971 is in fact a date that figures prominently in celebrating 420 Day.  Back in 1971, five students at San Rafael High School in California would meet at 4:20pm – right after doing their after-school sports- to toke up.

There are lots of urban myths suggesting the origins of 420 but according to the internet, this is the  most credible story out there.

The Secret Marijuana Patch

Vintage comic "The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers" 1972 secret marijuana patch

Vintage comic “The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers” 1972 by Gilbert Shelton

The term 420 was allegedly coined that fateful year when a group of  students from the San Rafael High School in California went on a hunt for a plot of marijuana plants that was supposedly growing near the Point Reyes Peninsula Coast Guard Station.

Vintage comic "The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers" 1972 by Gilbert Shelton

Vintage comic “The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers” 1972 by Gilbert Shelton

They  met at 4:20 pm outside their school to drive to the area and carried out the search many times. They never found the plants, but it became a tradition, and the group, who called themselves “The Waldos” began using 420 as a shorthand for smoking weed.

This spread, and 4:20pm became known as the perfect time for toking up, and  the number 420 became synonymous with marijuana.

Far out!

© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



  1. Good old furry Freak Brothers!
    I would just like to say that, uh…well, I don’t really remember but it was epic!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Haha… funny memories Sally! Though I entered high school in ’78 and being in the marching band — percussion section (quads) — we watched a LOT of Cheech & Chong movies. I wasn’t a stoner myself, but had MANY friends and other drummers who were. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Micki Allen

    A delightfully entertaining tribute to my favorite state of Tejas and my favorite decade, the 70s! Yet another reason I love checking in at Envisioning the American Dream, Sally.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: ***Fierce Female Reblog*** 4/20 Retrospective | micki allen

  5. Thoroughly enjoyed this one. Was debating which video I should give you but I couldn’t resist this. It’s so funny.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Just Say No | Envisioning The American Dream

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