Sorry potheads, if you’re looking for a sign it’s no longer “420” on Colorado’s Interstate 70.
That’s because while buying marijuana may now be legal in Colorado, stealing a sign with a slang reference to the drug is still frowned upon. But state officials said that just wasn’t stopping the repeated theft of a sign with a popular numerical term that for many is a common reference to marijuana.
It sounds like the kind of solution only a pot smoker would come up with. But it turns out marijuana signage enthusiasts are the ones forcing Colorado officials to think creatively.
On Colorado’s Interstate 70, there was a sign marked “MILE 420.” And for those not in the know, “ 420” is a common shorthand used by pot smokers. Like the effects of smoking the plant itself, the origin of the term is hazy, but is said to have started as code among a group of California teens when they wanted to signal each other for a smoking excursion.
So after the sign has been stolen a number of times in recent years, Colorado officials decided to move the sign slightly up the road and change its name to MILE 419.99.
In fact, it has been stolen so many times, state officials weren't sure of the exact number.
"Obviously people steal these signs," Amy Ford of the Colorado Department of Transportation told the Denver Post. "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."
Ford told the Associated Press that it’s the only sign of its kind that has been replaced so far, as most highways do not extend to the 420-mile marker point.
But they did take inspiration from another bit of signage tweaking in the state. A previous marker reading “MILE 69,” which some took as reference to a sexual practice, was replaced with “MILE 68.5” after repeated thefts.