Marijuana activists from across the country consider the date 4/20 a day to commemorate marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington, and vouch for nationwide legalization. However, not all pot smokers use the drug as some sort of protest, or celebration of the new drug law. 4/20 has been (and will continue to be) a day our counter-culture recognizes as marijuana day. Regardless of whether the pot user’s home state has laws to sanction their use of the drug, users still recognize it as a day to get together and smoke weed.
More than 50,000 people are anticipated to take part in this cannabis-culture celebration in Washington and Colorado this weekend on 4/20. This includes pot lovers from states where using pot is still illegal, some of whom are taking advantage of packaged group tours.
Depending on who you ask, there are as many varieties of answers around the meaning of “4/20” as there are strains of medical bud in California. Some say it is the teatime in Holland, a region where marijuana has been legal since 1976. Others believe it has something to do with Hitler’s birthday. The reason that seems to make the most sense is 420 is actually the number of active chemicals in marijuana.
According to the Huffington Post, an attendee of a Grateful Dead concert was given a flyer which said, “We are going to meet at 4:20 on 4/20 for 420-ing in Marin County at the Bolinas Ridge Sunset Spot on Mt. Tamalpais.” The receiver of the message was Steven Bloom, who found the flyer while moseying through the concert parking lot. His experience was forwarded to the Huffington Post, High Times Magazine, and eventually got to the publisher of a website called CelebStoner.com, and writer for Pot Culture. After going viral, the day was permanently engrained in the cannabis culture.
Colorado Cannabis Cup & Seattle Hempfest, DOPE Cup
Thousands are expected to light up in Denver and Seattle on April 20 to celebrate marijuana legalization. Denver’s Civic Center Park plays host to the event known as the “Cannabis Cup.” The event was started by High Times Magazine in 1987 and is one of the worlds preeminent Cannabis festivals. The event lets judges from around the world sample and vote for their favorite varieties of marijuana; including best new product, best blown glass (for paraphernalia), and overall best weed. The event includes live music where celebrities like Snoop Lion (formerly Snoop Dogg) will perform, as well as a comedy show and package tours. Similarly in Washington State, thousands are expected to attend events in Seattle coordinated by marijuana promoters and entrepreneurs. Around 15,000 are expected for glassblowing demonstrations, music, dancing and judging for the “DOPE Cup” – an award for the best hash. There will be a smoking tent set up outside, along with food trucks to combat any cases of the munchies.
Setting the stage is entrepreneur Matt Brown, co-owner of Denver’s new “My 420 Tours,” which gives traveling pot users a sneak peek into the world of weed without actually giving them the substance. Brown has sold 160 tour packages to visiting pot smokers for the April 20 weekend. Prices start at $499, not including hotel or air. The tour sends cannabis tour guides to pick up marijuana tourists at the airport in limousines, escort them to Cannabis Cup and other Denver-area marijuana celebrations and deposit them at a hotel where smoking tobacco or cannabis is permitted on room patios.
“People are fascinated by what’s happening here, and they want to see it up close,” Brown told High Times Magazine. “We want to make sure people don’t come here, land at the airport, rent a car and drive around stoned all weekend.”
Recovering Addicts Beware
While engaging in 420 is technically legal in Colorado and Washington, the law has not been able to stop people in other states from smoking pot on 4/20. The danger for those in recovery is not only the temptation of wanting to try smoking weed while it’s legal, but also thinking that they are safe because weed isn’t “that bad”. What some addicts and alcoholics in recovery may not know is that addiction is a disease and they cannot take any mind altering substances if they want to continue to stay clean and sober, this includes smoking pot. Legality doesn’t matter when it comes to abusing drugs. Alcohol is legal and yet thousands and thousands suffer from alcoholism, the same is true for marijuana. Recovery needs to come first, no matter what. Weed is a drug and a person can develop a marijuana addiction.
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