What 420 Friendly Means on a Dating Profile

Cropped Hand Holding marijuana leaf Against colored background
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Navigating the world of dating apps can be overwhelming. There's the dilemma of choosing which dating app to join, selecting profile photos that best illustrate the depth and breadth of your personality, and determining how much information to share with a pool of complete strangers. For example, most apps have options to share your lifestyle preferences, like whether you want or have children, drink alcohol, or are cannabis-friendly. These lifestyle preferences can also be polarizing. For example, when someone you're dating or a person you're talking to via an online dating site mentions that they're "420 friendly," what do you say? 

Meet the Expert

Bonny Albo is a relationship expert who has written about online dating for Dotdash and has been featured in The New York Times and Reader's Digest.

As a dating expert, this question comes up often. Below, let's jump in as to what "420 friendly" means in a dating profile and why it might be important to you.

What Is "420 Friendly"?

The term "420" refers to recreational marijuana use, and "420 friendly" means that the individual uses marijuana and/or is comfortable if you do, too.

Why Do People Use "420 Friendly"?

Originally, the phrase was used as code among marijuana smokers. Today, the term is prevalent with pretty much anyone who uses marijuana, although more so in North America. There are even dating sites like 420 Singles, High There!, and My 420 Mate, which cater to people with this interest. It's also important to note that there is more than one way to use marijuana. Beyond smoking, there are edibles ranging from gummy candies to cookies, tinctures you can add to your beverage like cream and sugar or infuse into cooking, vape pens, and topicals like balms and creams. Some people use marijuana for medical reasons, while others use it for recreation.

Is Marijuana Use Illegal?

It depends on where you live, which is why people use this code to share their interest and/or openness to others using marijuana. In the U.S., recreational marijuana use is legal for adults age 21 and over in Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Illinois, and the District of Columbia, as of September 2020.

Why Would Someone Want To Share That They're "420 Friendly"?

I'm not going to get into the ethics or legal aspects of marijuana use, as there are others with infinitely more expertise in the field than I.

What I will say however, is this: Marijuana use, like smoking, drinking, religion, children, and politics, are all deal-breaking topics for many singles. Whether you live in an area where marijuana is legal or not, it's eventually a discussion many of us will have at some point—again, depending on where you live, sometimes it's a conversation that will occur more than others.

For instance, when I travel to Europe, where marijuana use in many countries (like Portugal, Croatia, and Switzerland) is decriminalized, the question of marijuana use in the context of dating rarely comes up. Yet when I'm in my hometown of Vancouver, Canada, it's rare to see a dating profile where "420 friendly" isn't mentioned in some way. 

For some, it's a non-issue. I've talked to many who don't see smoking marijuana as a problem or who would rather date a person who already approves of their choice. In my neck of the woods, "420" commonly appears in dating site profiles, and I've had quite a few folks tell me they're uninterested in dating unless their potential partner is a pot smoker, pot activist, or at the very least, tolerant of its occasional use.

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