The Forgotten Waldos: It All Started in San Rafael

They weren’t trying to get famous. They weren’t looking for attention. They were, however, in existence, and they mattered. They were the Waldos, a group of San Rafael high school students, and they were reppin’ Marin County like nobody’s business. In fact, it was nobody’s business, especially if you were the fuzz out to bust them for what they were up to. “Smokin’,” “blazin’,” “weed,” “marijuana.” Didn’t matter what you called it, the Waldos just wanted to have a good time, and 4:20 pm seemed like a suitable time to do so. So they did.

Now, Sweetwater Brewing Company has an issue with this so-called “420” label, but the Waldos are too hardcore to take up a complaint with, so Sweetwater decided to accuse Lagunitas Brewing Company of ripping off its trademark label.

Wait, huh?


Yesterday, Lagunitas announced its dropping of any future use of the term “420” in its labeling after the Atlanta brewery claimed a trademark on the term. Sweetwater has a long-standing pale ale known as “420” and founder Freddy Bensch was angered when he learned of Lagunitas’ use of the term, such as in its seasonal beer known as “The Waldos’ Special Ale.”

How could a shout-out to the Waldos, the widely-attributed “420” founders, be taken as stealing a trademark that wasn’t the company’s to begin with?

In a series of Tweets, shown below, following a letter received by Bensch, Lagunitas founder Tony Magee pokes fun at the idea of “stealing” the marijuana-term.

Magee shows off his witty humor and even asks if his company’s change will let Sweetwater win, because, who really wins in this dispute? Certainly not the Waldos, who weren’t even asked how they felt about the situation. No big deal though. Competing companies will always have something new to argue about.

The infamous stoners will simply go mellow out somewhere at 4:20 pm, knowing the truth, and blow more smoke into the haze of ignorance.