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Colorado replaces marker 420 with 419.99 to foil 'weed enthusiasts'

Colorado replaces marker 420 with 419.99 to foil 'weed enthusiasts'
Marijuana plants are seen under multi-colored grow lights in the growing rooms at the Denver Discreet Dispensary in Denver. Colorado is the first state in the United States to sell recreational marijuana legally. (EPA/ Bob Pearson)

This week, Colorado replaced mile marker 420 after it was repeatedly stolen following the state's legalization of marijuana. Why? Could be because 420 is pop-culture code for cannabis.

The Colorado Department of Transportation assumed it was being lifted by "weed enthusiasts," according to NBC News.

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To combat further theft, the department altered the sign to "MILE 419.99."

The reasons behind 420's association with pot are relatively unknown, short of a few theories involving 1970s California hippie kids. But April 20 (4/20) has become something of counterculture holiday for the aforementioned enthusiasts.

Amy Ford, a spokeswoman with the Colorado Department of Transportation, told USA Today that, in part, "it's a traffic safety thing. It's a helpful thing to have these signs on the road. But people kept ripping them off."

This isn't Colorado's first attempt at thwarting mile-marker thieves. The Associated Press reports that Cameron Pass in Larimer County also has a fractional sign that reads, "MILE 68.5" after frequent thefts of the "MILE 69" marker.

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