FACT CHECK: Did Barack Obama Pose With A ‘420’ Sign?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows former President Barack Obama posing with a “420” sign.

Verdict: False

The image has been digitally altered. In the original photo, the sign shows the number 1961.

Fact Check:

April 20, often written as 4/20, is an unofficial holiday celebrating marijuana, Newsweek reported. According to the outlet, the association between the number “420” and marijuana dates back to at least the 1970s, though the origin of how the number became linked with it is debated.

This year on April 20, social media users shared a photo of Obama allegedly posing outside by a sign with “420” on it. “Happy 420 from the greatest president Ever!” one such post reads. “Amen to that President Obama the best President we ever had. Happy 420, To You, Mr. President, you are the best ever.” (RELATED: Viral Image Claims To Show Barack Obama’s Kenyan Birth Certificate)

While Obama has, according to the Associated Press, admitted he smoked marijuana in his youth, he did not share a photo of himself posing with a “420” sign. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found that the photo was originally shared on the verified Obama White House Instagram account in September 2015.

In the photo, the sign bears the number 1961, a reference to where Alaska’s Exit Glacier was that year. It was taken during Obama’s 2015 trip to Alaska, according to the Instagram post’s caption.

“Markers throughout Exit Glacier show how much it’s receded over time,” reads the image’s caption. “The impacts of climate change are real, and the people of Alaska are living with them every day. It’s never been more important for us to work together to address this challenge. -bo”

The Office of Barack and Michelle Obama did not respond to a request for comment.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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