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4/20 grew from humble roots to marijuana's high holiday

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4/20 grew from humble roots to marijuana's high holiday
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4/20 grew from humble roots to marijuana's high holiday

2024-04-20 07:58 Last Updated At:08:00

SEATTLE (AP) — Saturday marks marijuana culture’s high holiday, 4/20, when college students gather — at 4:20 p.m. — in clouds of smoke on campus quads and pot shops in legal-weed states thank their customers with discounts.

This year’s edition provides an occasion for activists to reflect on how far their movement has come, with recreational pot now allowed in nearly half the states and the nation’s capital. Many states have instituted “social equity” measures to help communities of color, harmed the most by the drug war, reap financial benefits from legalization. And the White House has shown an openness to marijuana reform.

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Budtender Rey Cruz puts back cannabis after a customer bought some at the Marijuana Paradise on Friday, April 19, 2024, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

SEATTLE (AP) — Saturday marks marijuana culture’s high holiday, 4/20, when college students gather — at 4:20 p.m. — in clouds of smoke on campus quads and pot shops in legal-weed states thank their customers with discounts.

Budtender Rey Cruz rings up a customer as a 420 raffle sign is taped to a register at the Marijuana Paradise on Friday, April 19, 2024, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

Budtender Rey Cruz rings up a customer as a 420 raffle sign is taped to a register at the Marijuana Paradise on Friday, April 19, 2024, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

Budtender Rey Cruz weighs cannabis for a customer at the Marijuana Paradise on Friday, April 19, 2024, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

Budtender Rey Cruz weighs cannabis for a customer at the Marijuana Paradise on Friday, April 19, 2024, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

Cannabis is displayed for customers at the Marijuana Paradise on Friday, April 19, 2024, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

Cannabis is displayed for customers at the Marijuana Paradise on Friday, April 19, 2024, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

FILE - Caretakers oversee a grow room for medical marijuana at ShowGrow, a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles, April 20, 2017. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

FILE - Caretakers oversee a grow room for medical marijuana at ShowGrow, a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles, April 20, 2017. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

FILE - People smoke marijuana during the annual 4/20 marijuana gathering at Civic Center Park in downtown Denver, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

FILE - People smoke marijuana during the annual 4/20 marijuana gathering at Civic Center Park in downtown Denver, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

FILE - Alfalfa farmers Diane and Russ Jones look on during a public hearing on medical cannabis at the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, June 5, 2019, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

FILE - Alfalfa farmers Diane and Russ Jones look on during a public hearing on medical cannabis at the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, June 5, 2019, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

FILE - A San Rafael High School newspaper from June 1974 referencing 420, is shown that is stored at a bank vault in San Francisco, April 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

FILE - A San Rafael High School newspaper from June 1974 referencing 420, is shown that is stored at a bank vault in San Francisco, April 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

FILE - People buy marijuana products at the Essence cannabis dispensary, Saturday, July 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. Nevada dispensaries were legally allowed to sell recreational marijuana starting at 12:01 a.m., that day. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

FILE - People buy marijuana products at the Essence cannabis dispensary, Saturday, July 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. Nevada dispensaries were legally allowed to sell recreational marijuana starting at 12:01 a.m., that day. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

FILE - From left, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announce a draft bill that would decriminalize marijuana on a federal level Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 14, 2021. The bill, called the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, would not only decriminalize marijuana, but also expunge the records of those with non-violent convictions related to cannabis and invest money into restorative justice programs. (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades, File)

FILE - From left, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announce a draft bill that would decriminalize marijuana on a federal level Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 14, 2021. The bill, called the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, would not only decriminalize marijuana, but also expunge the records of those with non-violent convictions related to cannabis and invest money into restorative justice programs. (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades, File)

FILE - Police handcuff a suspect during a drug raid in Miami, May 18, 1979. Police said eight were arrested and marijuana was seized. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/Al Diaz, File)

FILE - Police handcuff a suspect during a drug raid in Miami, May 18, 1979. Police said eight were arrested and marijuana was seized. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/Al Diaz, File)

FILE - A Drug Enforcement Administration agent shoulders a bundle of marijuana plants down a steep slope after working with other law enforcement officers to clear a patch of the plants from national forest land near Entiant, Wash., Sept. 20, 2005. Police confiscated 465 marijuana plants at the so-called "garden," a small find compared to the thousands of other plants confiscated on some other busts in the area. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

FILE - A Drug Enforcement Administration agent shoulders a bundle of marijuana plants down a steep slope after working with other law enforcement officers to clear a patch of the plants from national forest land near Entiant, Wash., Sept. 20, 2005. Police confiscated 465 marijuana plants at the so-called "garden," a small find compared to the thousands of other plants confiscated on some other busts in the area. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

FILE - Kay Nelson, left, and Bryan Grode, retried seniors from Laguna Woods Village, chat in the lobby of Bud and Bloom cannabis dispensary while waiting for a free shuttle to arrive in Santa Ana, Calif., Feb. 19, 2019. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

FILE - Kay Nelson, left, and Bryan Grode, retried seniors from Laguna Woods Village, chat in the lobby of Bud and Bloom cannabis dispensary while waiting for a free shuttle to arrive in Santa Ana, Calif., Feb. 19, 2019. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

FILE - Jim Weber examines the inside of The Bud Light marijuana growing trailer at the International Cannabis & Hemp Expo, Saturday, April 17, 2010, in Daly City, Calif. The unit, once hooked up to electricity and water supplies, is a turnkey marijuana growing space. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

FILE - Jim Weber examines the inside of The Bud Light marijuana growing trailer at the International Cannabis & Hemp Expo, Saturday, April 17, 2010, in Daly City, Calif. The unit, once hooked up to electricity and water supplies, is a turnkey marijuana growing space. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

FILE - Set to the symbolic 4:20 time, weed patterns adorn clocks up for sale on the first of three days of Hempfest, Seattle's annual gathering to advocate the decriminalization of marijuana, at Myrtle Edwards Park on the waterfront in Seattle, Aug. 15, 2014. (Jordan Stead/seattlepi.com via AP, File)

FILE - Set to the symbolic 4:20 time, weed patterns adorn clocks up for sale on the first of three days of Hempfest, Seattle's annual gathering to advocate the decriminalization of marijuana, at Myrtle Edwards Park on the waterfront in Seattle, Aug. 15, 2014. (Jordan Stead/seattlepi.com via AP, File)

FILE - Music fans seek shelter in a grass hut at the Woodstock Music and Art Festival in Bethel, N.Y., Aug. 17, 1969. The sign above reads "Have a Marijuana." Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/File)

FILE - Music fans seek shelter in a grass hut at the Woodstock Music and Art Festival in Bethel, N.Y., Aug. 17, 1969. The sign above reads "Have a Marijuana." Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/File)

FILE - Joseph DuPuis, co-founder of Doc & Yeti Urban Farms, a licensed cannabis producer, looks out into a growing area in Tumwater, Wash., March 15, 2023. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/Eugene Johnson, File)

FILE - Joseph DuPuis, co-founder of Doc & Yeti Urban Farms, a licensed cannabis producer, looks out into a growing area in Tumwater, Wash., March 15, 2023. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/Eugene Johnson, File)

FILE - Gabe Williams works on an exhibit at the Cannabition cannabis museum in Las Vegas, Sept. 18, 2018. The museum celebrates all things cannabis with displays that include a glass bong taller than a giraffe and huggable faux marijuana buds. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

FILE - Gabe Williams works on an exhibit at the Cannabition cannabis museum in Las Vegas, Sept. 18, 2018. The museum celebrates all things cannabis with displays that include a glass bong taller than a giraffe and huggable faux marijuana buds. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

FILE - A large crowd cheers as the time reaches 4:20 p.m., on Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, April 20, 2009. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

FILE - A large crowd cheers as the time reaches 4:20 p.m., on Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, April 20, 2009. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

FILE - Patrons smoke marijuana at Lowell's Original Cannabis Cafe, a legal marijuana establishment, in Los Angeles, Nov. 13, 2019. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

FILE - Patrons smoke marijuana at Lowell's Original Cannabis Cafe, a legal marijuana establishment, in Los Angeles, Nov. 13, 2019. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

FILE - A vendor makes change for a marijuana customer at a cannabis marketplace in Los Angeles, April 15, 2019. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

FILE - A vendor makes change for a marijuana customer at a cannabis marketplace in Los Angeles, April 15, 2019. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

FILE - The Waldos, from left, Mark Gravitch, Larry Schwartz, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel and Steve Capper sit on a wall they used to frequent at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, Calif., April 13, 2018. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

FILE - The Waldos, from left, Mark Gravitch, Larry Schwartz, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel and Steve Capper sit on a wall they used to frequent at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, Calif., April 13, 2018. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

FILE - Members of a crowd numbering tens of thousands smoke marijuana and listen to live music at the Denver 420 pro-marijuana rally at Civic Center Park in Denver, April 20, 2013. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

FILE - Members of a crowd numbering tens of thousands smoke marijuana and listen to live music at the Denver 420 pro-marijuana rally at Civic Center Park in Denver, April 20, 2013. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

FILE - A guest takes a puff from a marijuana cigarette at the Sensi Magazine party celebrating the 420 holiday in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles, April 20, 2019. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

FILE - A guest takes a puff from a marijuana cigarette at the Sensi Magazine party celebrating the 420 holiday in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles, April 20, 2019. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

Here’s a look at 4/20's history:

The origins of the date, and the term “420” generally, were long murky. Some claimed it referred to a police code for marijuana possession or that it derived from Bob Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35,” with its refrain of “Everybody must get stoned” — 420 being the product of 12 times 35.

But the prevailing explanation is that it started in the 1970s with a group of bell-bottomed buddies from San Rafael High School, in California's Marin County north of San Francisco, who called themselves “the Waldos.” A friend’s brother was afraid of getting busted for a patch of cannabis he was growing in the woods at nearby Point Reyes, so he drew a map and gave the teens permission to harvest the crop, the story goes.

During fall 1971, at 4:20 p.m., just after classes and football practice, the group would meet up at the school’s statue of chemist Louis Pasteur, smoke a joint and head out to search for the weed patch. They never did find it, but their private lexicon — “420 Louie” and later just “420” — would take on a life of its own.

The Waldos saved postmarked letters and other artifacts from the 1970s referencing “420,” which they now keep in a bank vault, and when the Oxford English Dictionary added the term in 2017, it cited some of those documents as the earliest recorded uses.

A brother of one of the Waldos was a close friend of Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh, as Lesh once confirmed in an interview with the Huffington Post, now HuffPost. The Waldos began hanging out in the band’s circle and the slang spread.

Fast-forward to the early 1990s: Steve Bloom, a reporter for the cannabis magazine High Times, was at a Dead show when he was handed a flyer urging people to “meet at 4:20 on 4/20 for 420-ing in Marin County at the Bolinas Ridge sunset spot on Mt. Tamalpais.” High Times published it.

“It’s a phenomenon,” one of the Waldos, Steve Capper, now 69, once told The Associated Press. “Most things die within a couple years, but this just goes on and on. It’s not like someday somebody’s going to say, ‘OK, Cannabis New Year’s is on June 23rd now.’”

While the Waldos came up with the term, the people who made the flier distributed at the Dead show — and effectively turned 4/20 into a holiday — remain unknown.

With weed, naturally.

Some celebrations are bigger than others: The Mile High 420 Festival in Denver, for example, typically draws thousands and describes itself as the largest free 4/20 event in the world. Hippie Hill in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park has also attracted massive crowds, but the gathering was canceled this year, with organizers citing a lack of financial sponsorship and city budget cuts.

College quads and statehouse lawns are also known for drawing 4/20 celebrations, with the University of Colorado Boulder historically among the largest, though not so much since administrators banned the annual smokeout over a decade ago.

Some breweries make beers that are 420-themed, but not laced, including SweetWater Brewing in Atlanta, which is throwing a 420 music festival this weekend and whose founders went to the University of Colorado.

Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma, California, releases its “Waldos’ Special Ale” every year on 4/20 in partnership with the term’s coiners. That's where the Waldos will be this Saturday to sample the beer, for which they picked out “hops that smell and taste like the dankest marijuana,” one Waldo, Dave Reddix, said via email.

4/20 has also become a big industry event, with vendors gathering to try each other's wares.

The number of states allowing recreational marijuana has grown to 24 after recent legalization campaigns succeeded in Ohio, Minnesota and Delaware. Fourteen more states allow it for medical purposes, including Kentucky, where medical marijuana legislation that passed last year will take effect in 2025. Additional states permit only products with low THC, marijuana's main psychoactive ingredient, for certain medical conditions.

But marijuana is still illegal under federal law. It is listed with drugs such as heroin under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, meaning it has no federally accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

The Biden administration, however, has taken some steps toward marijuana reform. The president has pardoned thousands of people who were convicted of “simple possession” on federal land and in the District of Columbia.

The Department of Health and Human Services last year recommended to the Drug Enforcement Administration that marijuana be reclassified as Schedule III, which would affirm its medical use under federal law.

According to a Gallup poll last fall, 70% of adults support legalization, the highest level yet recorded by the polling firm and more than double the roughly 30% who backed it in 2000.

Vivian McPeak, who helped found Seattle's Hempfest more than three decades ago, reflected on the extent to which the marijuana industry has evolved during his lifetime.

“It's surreal to drive by stores that are selling cannabis,” he said. “A lot of people laughed at us, saying, ‘This will never happen.’”

McPeak described 4/20 these days as a “mixed bag.” Despite the legalization movement's progress, many smaller growers are struggling to compete against large producers, he said, and many Americans are still behind bars for weed convictions.

“We can celebrate the victories that we've had, and we can also strategize and organize to further the cause,” he said. “Despite the kind of complacency that some people might feel, we still got work to do. We've got to keep burning that shoe leather until we get everybody out of jails and prisons.”

For the Waldos, 4/20 signifies above all else a good time.

“We’re not political. We’re jokesters,” Capper has said. “But there was a time that we can’t forget, when it was secret, furtive. ... The energy of the time was more charged, more exciting in a certain way.

“I’m not saying that’s all good — it’s not good they were putting people in jail,” he continued. “You wouldn’t want to go back there.”

Associated Press writer Claire Rush contributed from Portland, Oregon.

Budtender Rey Cruz puts back cannabis after a customer bought some at the Marijuana Paradise on Friday, April 19, 2024, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

Budtender Rey Cruz puts back cannabis after a customer bought some at the Marijuana Paradise on Friday, April 19, 2024, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

Budtender Rey Cruz rings up a customer as a 420 raffle sign is taped to a register at the Marijuana Paradise on Friday, April 19, 2024, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

Budtender Rey Cruz rings up a customer as a 420 raffle sign is taped to a register at the Marijuana Paradise on Friday, April 19, 2024, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

Budtender Rey Cruz weighs cannabis for a customer at the Marijuana Paradise on Friday, April 19, 2024, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

Budtender Rey Cruz weighs cannabis for a customer at the Marijuana Paradise on Friday, April 19, 2024, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

Cannabis is displayed for customers at the Marijuana Paradise on Friday, April 19, 2024, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

Cannabis is displayed for customers at the Marijuana Paradise on Friday, April 19, 2024, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

FILE - Caretakers oversee a grow room for medical marijuana at ShowGrow, a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles, April 20, 2017. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

FILE - Caretakers oversee a grow room for medical marijuana at ShowGrow, a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles, April 20, 2017. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

FILE - People smoke marijuana during the annual 4/20 marijuana gathering at Civic Center Park in downtown Denver, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

FILE - People smoke marijuana during the annual 4/20 marijuana gathering at Civic Center Park in downtown Denver, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

FILE - Alfalfa farmers Diane and Russ Jones look on during a public hearing on medical cannabis at the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, June 5, 2019, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

FILE - Alfalfa farmers Diane and Russ Jones look on during a public hearing on medical cannabis at the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, June 5, 2019, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

FILE - A San Rafael High School newspaper from June 1974 referencing 420, is shown that is stored at a bank vault in San Francisco, April 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

FILE - A San Rafael High School newspaper from June 1974 referencing 420, is shown that is stored at a bank vault in San Francisco, April 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

FILE - People buy marijuana products at the Essence cannabis dispensary, Saturday, July 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. Nevada dispensaries were legally allowed to sell recreational marijuana starting at 12:01 a.m., that day. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

FILE - People buy marijuana products at the Essence cannabis dispensary, Saturday, July 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. Nevada dispensaries were legally allowed to sell recreational marijuana starting at 12:01 a.m., that day. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

FILE - From left, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announce a draft bill that would decriminalize marijuana on a federal level Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 14, 2021. The bill, called the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, would not only decriminalize marijuana, but also expunge the records of those with non-violent convictions related to cannabis and invest money into restorative justice programs. (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades, File)

FILE - From left, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announce a draft bill that would decriminalize marijuana on a federal level Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 14, 2021. The bill, called the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, would not only decriminalize marijuana, but also expunge the records of those with non-violent convictions related to cannabis and invest money into restorative justice programs. (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades, File)

FILE - Police handcuff a suspect during a drug raid in Miami, May 18, 1979. Police said eight were arrested and marijuana was seized. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/Al Diaz, File)

FILE - Police handcuff a suspect during a drug raid in Miami, May 18, 1979. Police said eight were arrested and marijuana was seized. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/Al Diaz, File)

FILE - A Drug Enforcement Administration agent shoulders a bundle of marijuana plants down a steep slope after working with other law enforcement officers to clear a patch of the plants from national forest land near Entiant, Wash., Sept. 20, 2005. Police confiscated 465 marijuana plants at the so-called "garden," a small find compared to the thousands of other plants confiscated on some other busts in the area. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

FILE - A Drug Enforcement Administration agent shoulders a bundle of marijuana plants down a steep slope after working with other law enforcement officers to clear a patch of the plants from national forest land near Entiant, Wash., Sept. 20, 2005. Police confiscated 465 marijuana plants at the so-called "garden," a small find compared to the thousands of other plants confiscated on some other busts in the area. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

FILE - Kay Nelson, left, and Bryan Grode, retried seniors from Laguna Woods Village, chat in the lobby of Bud and Bloom cannabis dispensary while waiting for a free shuttle to arrive in Santa Ana, Calif., Feb. 19, 2019. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

FILE - Kay Nelson, left, and Bryan Grode, retried seniors from Laguna Woods Village, chat in the lobby of Bud and Bloom cannabis dispensary while waiting for a free shuttle to arrive in Santa Ana, Calif., Feb. 19, 2019. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

FILE - Jim Weber examines the inside of The Bud Light marijuana growing trailer at the International Cannabis & Hemp Expo, Saturday, April 17, 2010, in Daly City, Calif. The unit, once hooked up to electricity and water supplies, is a turnkey marijuana growing space. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

FILE - Jim Weber examines the inside of The Bud Light marijuana growing trailer at the International Cannabis & Hemp Expo, Saturday, April 17, 2010, in Daly City, Calif. The unit, once hooked up to electricity and water supplies, is a turnkey marijuana growing space. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

FILE - Set to the symbolic 4:20 time, weed patterns adorn clocks up for sale on the first of three days of Hempfest, Seattle's annual gathering to advocate the decriminalization of marijuana, at Myrtle Edwards Park on the waterfront in Seattle, Aug. 15, 2014. (Jordan Stead/seattlepi.com via AP, File)

FILE - Set to the symbolic 4:20 time, weed patterns adorn clocks up for sale on the first of three days of Hempfest, Seattle's annual gathering to advocate the decriminalization of marijuana, at Myrtle Edwards Park on the waterfront in Seattle, Aug. 15, 2014. (Jordan Stead/seattlepi.com via AP, File)

FILE - Music fans seek shelter in a grass hut at the Woodstock Music and Art Festival in Bethel, N.Y., Aug. 17, 1969. The sign above reads "Have a Marijuana." Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/File)

FILE - Music fans seek shelter in a grass hut at the Woodstock Music and Art Festival in Bethel, N.Y., Aug. 17, 1969. The sign above reads "Have a Marijuana." Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/File)

FILE - Joseph DuPuis, co-founder of Doc & Yeti Urban Farms, a licensed cannabis producer, looks out into a growing area in Tumwater, Wash., March 15, 2023. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/Eugene Johnson, File)

FILE - Joseph DuPuis, co-founder of Doc & Yeti Urban Farms, a licensed cannabis producer, looks out into a growing area in Tumwater, Wash., March 15, 2023. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/Eugene Johnson, File)

FILE - Gabe Williams works on an exhibit at the Cannabition cannabis museum in Las Vegas, Sept. 18, 2018. The museum celebrates all things cannabis with displays that include a glass bong taller than a giraffe and huggable faux marijuana buds. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

FILE - Gabe Williams works on an exhibit at the Cannabition cannabis museum in Las Vegas, Sept. 18, 2018. The museum celebrates all things cannabis with displays that include a glass bong taller than a giraffe and huggable faux marijuana buds. Medical marijuana is now legal in 38 states. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

FILE - A large crowd cheers as the time reaches 4:20 p.m., on Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, April 20, 2009. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

FILE - A large crowd cheers as the time reaches 4:20 p.m., on Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, April 20, 2009. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

FILE - Patrons smoke marijuana at Lowell's Original Cannabis Cafe, a legal marijuana establishment, in Los Angeles, Nov. 13, 2019. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

FILE - Patrons smoke marijuana at Lowell's Original Cannabis Cafe, a legal marijuana establishment, in Los Angeles, Nov. 13, 2019. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

FILE - A vendor makes change for a marijuana customer at a cannabis marketplace in Los Angeles, April 15, 2019. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

FILE - A vendor makes change for a marijuana customer at a cannabis marketplace in Los Angeles, April 15, 2019. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

FILE - The Waldos, from left, Mark Gravitch, Larry Schwartz, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel and Steve Capper sit on a wall they used to frequent at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, Calif., April 13, 2018. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

FILE - The Waldos, from left, Mark Gravitch, Larry Schwartz, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel and Steve Capper sit on a wall they used to frequent at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, Calif., April 13, 2018. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

FILE - Members of a crowd numbering tens of thousands smoke marijuana and listen to live music at the Denver 420 pro-marijuana rally at Civic Center Park in Denver, April 20, 2013. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

FILE - Members of a crowd numbering tens of thousands smoke marijuana and listen to live music at the Denver 420 pro-marijuana rally at Civic Center Park in Denver, April 20, 2013. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

FILE - A guest takes a puff from a marijuana cigarette at the Sensi Magazine party celebrating the 420 holiday in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles, April 20, 2019. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

FILE - A guest takes a puff from a marijuana cigarette at the Sensi Magazine party celebrating the 420 holiday in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles, April 20, 2019. Marijuana advocates are gearing up for Saturday, April 20, 2024. Known as 4/20, marijuana's high holiday is marked by large crowds gathering in parks, at festivals and on college campuses to smoke together. This year, activists can reflect on how far the movement has come. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

France and Belgium released statements supporting the world’s top war crimes court’s request for arrest warrants for leaders of Israel and Hamas, after Israel and the United States both harshly condemned the effort.

The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and three Hamas leaders — Yehya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh — of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and Israel. While Netanyahu and Gallant do not face imminent arrest, the announcement Monday was a symbolic blow that deepened Israel’s isolation over the war in Gaza.

Israeli forces raided a militant stronghold Tuesday in the occupied West Bank, killing at least seven and wounding several, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The raid into Jenin is part of months of surging violence in the Palestinian territory.

Sri Lanka announced a national day of mourning Tuesday after Iranian officials announced that President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian were found dead Monday, hours after their helicopter crashed in fog, leaving the Islamic Republic without two key leaders. Iran backs Hamas, and the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah, also supported by Tehran, has fired rockets at Israel. In April, Iran launched its own an unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel.

Israel launched its offensive after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed about 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducted about 250.

At least 35,000 Palestinians have died in the war, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which doesn’t distinguish between combatants and civilians. Around 80% of the population of 2.3 million Palestinians has been displaced within the territory, often multiple times.

Currently:

— Iran's president and foreign minister die in a helicopter crash.

— ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrant for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Netanyahu.

— These photos show Palestinians’ quick exodus from Rafah after Israel issued evacuation orders.

— Israeli forces kill at least seven Palestinians in a West Bank raid.

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Gaza at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

Here's the latest:

JERUSALEM — Israeli forces raided a militant stronghold Tuesday in the occupied West Bank, killing at least seven and wounding several, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The Israeli military said it struck militants during an operation into the city. In addition to the seven fatalities, the Palestinian Health Ministry said nine people were injured. Among those killed was Dr. Ossayed Kamal Jabareen, the surgery specialist at Jenin Governmental Hospital who was killed on his way to his work, according to Dr. Wissam Abu Baker, the hospital’s director.

The raid was ongoing and the casualty numbers could rise.

The raid into Jenin is part of months of surging violence in the Palestinian territory. Nearly 500 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in the West Bank since the start of the war in Gaza, part of an Israeli crackdown on militancy in the territory. Attacks by Palestinians against Israelis have also increased.

Saraya al-Quds, the military arm of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, said its fighters battled Israeli forces raiding Jenin.

Israel has arrested more than 3,000 Palestinians since the start of the war.

France and Belgium each released statements supporting the world’s top war crimes court's request for arrest warrants for leaders of Israel and Hamas.

International Criminal Court top prosecutor Karim Khan accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and three Hamas leaders — Yehya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh — of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and Israel. While Netanyahu and Gallant do not face imminent arrest, the announcement Monday was a symbolic blow that deepened Israel’s isolation over the war in Gaza.

“France supports the International Criminal Court, its independence, and the fight against impunity in all situations,” its Foreign Ministry said in a statement late Monday, around the same time Belgium Minister of Foreign Affairs Hadja Lahbib posted on X, “Crimes committed in Gaza must be prosecuted at the highest level, regardless of the perpetrators," along with a statement.

Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders condemned the move as disgraceful and antisemitic. United States President Joe Biden also lambasted the prosecutor and supported Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas.

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The Sri Lankan government declared Tuesday a national mourning day for the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. The government also ordered all state institutions to hoist the national flag at half-staff.

Raisi visited Sri Lanka in April to inaugurate a long-delayed hydropower and irrigation project. The project, valued at $514 million, was started in 2010. It was scheduled for completion in 2015 but was delayed by the sanctions, technical issues and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Raisi was the first Iranian leader to visit Sri Lanka since then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited in 2008.

A man lays flowers near a photo of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his colleagues at a makeshift memorial at the Iranian Embassy in Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 20, 2024. Raisi, a hard-line protege of the country's supreme leader who helped oversee the mass executions of thousands in 1988 and later led the country as it enriched uranium near weapons-grade levels, launched a major attack on Israel and experienced mass protests, has died Sunday, May 19. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

A man lays flowers near a photo of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his colleagues at a makeshift memorial at the Iranian Embassy in Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 20, 2024. Raisi, a hard-line protege of the country's supreme leader who helped oversee the mass executions of thousands in 1988 and later led the country as it enriched uranium near weapons-grade levels, launched a major attack on Israel and experienced mass protests, has died Sunday, May 19. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Palestinians are waiting for aid trucks to cross in central Gaza Strip on Sunday, May 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Palestinians are waiting for aid trucks to cross in central Gaza Strip on Sunday, May 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, outside the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem on Monday, May 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, outside the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem on Monday, May 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh speaks during a press briefing after his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, March 26, 2024. The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Monday he is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in connection with their actions during the seven-month war between Israel and Hamas. Haniyeh is one of the three Hamas leaders believed to be responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and Israel. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh speaks during a press briefing after his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, March 26, 2024. The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Monday he is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in connection with their actions during the seven-month war between Israel and Hamas. Haniyeh is one of the three Hamas leaders believed to be responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and Israel. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant pauses while making a brief statement to the media with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, not pictured, at The Kirya, Israel's Ministry of Defense, Monday, Oct. 16, 2023, in Tel Aviv. The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Monday, May 20, 2024, he is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in connection with their actions during the seven-month war between Israel and Hamas. Netanyahu, his defense minister Gallant, and three Hamas leaders, are believed to be responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and Israel. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool, File)

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant pauses while making a brief statement to the media with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, not pictured, at The Kirya, Israel's Ministry of Defense, Monday, Oct. 16, 2023, in Tel Aviv. The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Monday, May 20, 2024, he is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in connection with their actions during the seven-month war between Israel and Hamas. Netanyahu, his defense minister Gallant, and three Hamas leaders, are believed to be responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and Israel. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool, File)

FILE - Exterior view of the International Criminal Court, or ICC, in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, April 30, 2024. The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor said Monday, May 20, 2024, that he’s seeking arrest warrants for both Israeli and Hamas leaders in connection with their actions during the seven-month war. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

FILE - Exterior view of the International Criminal Court, or ICC, in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, April 30, 2024. The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor said Monday, May 20, 2024, that he’s seeking arrest warrants for both Israeli and Hamas leaders in connection with their actions during the seven-month war. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

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