Welcome to Leaflyâs live 4/20 coverage for 2019! As has become tradition, weâll be updating you throughout the day with rolling coverage of news, events, and other bits and bobs to keep you informed and entertained no matter how youâre spending this most storied day in cannabis.
Check back often! Weâll be posting live reports all day long.
TRENTON, NJâ A second strident cannabis rally took place in Trenton, New Jersey this afternoon. Led by Edward âNJWeedmanâ Forchion, several dozen cannabis reformers marched from NJWeedmanâs Joint restaurant to New Jerseyâs Statehouse to smoke up and speak out.
Forchion joked there wasnât a state trooper anywhere in sight. âLegalization is here,â he told the crowd assembled on the lawn of NJâs state capitol building. âWe won the war. Prosecutors didnât win. The attorney general didnât win. We the people have. The people who stood up and said âFuck the lawâ and sold it anyway and ended up in prison. So now here we are in 2019 in New Jersey, and as far as Iâm concerned we won.
âWhich brings up the next question. Why are the losers divvying up the spoils of war? In most wars, the winners do. We had a war on drugs, a war on weed for the last 40 years. Weâre winning. Why are the losers divvying up the proceeds of war?â
Presumably by âlosers,â Forchion is referring to the politically connected gatekeepers who are poised to become extraordinarily rich while NJ residents pay top dollar for their cannabis.
An earlier event in Trenton rallied in support of legislation to legalize cannabis in NJ. This later effort, spearheaded by NJWeedman, actually opposes that same legislation on the grounds that it doesnât go far enough to address and amend the damages caused to communities of color by the war on drugs.
Born Rita Johnson in Stamps, AR, in 1928, Maya Angelou grew up in difficult circumstances and suffered terrible childhood traumas. All of which is covered in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, her first of five memoirs.
Cannabis doesnât enter the picture until the second installment of her life story, Gather Together in My Name.
Angelou opens that book in 1946, with a description of her life as an 18-year-old single mother in San Diego, where she worked as a waitress and held an understandably grim view of humanity. At least until the fateful night two lesbian prostitutes invited her to their house for dinnerâa life-changing social call she describes in loving detail.
The food was the best Iâd ever tasted. Every morsel was an experience of sheer delight. I lost myself in a haze of sensual pleasure, enjoying not only the tastes but the feel of the food in my mouth, the smells, and the sound of my jaws chewing.
Later in the book, Angelou explained how smoking two joints per week helped her unwind some of the pain and trauma of her upbringing.
Smoking grass eased the strain for me. âŚ I learned new postures and developed new dreams. From a natural stiffness I melted into a grinning tolerance. Walking on the streets became high adventure, eating my motherâs huge dinners an opulent entertainment, and playing with my son was side-cracking hilarity. For the first time, life amused me.
BANGOR, MI â A gathering that started in 1971 has finally made its way toÂ Southwest Michigan.
The Green Door, which opened as a medical dispensary in Bangor in December 2017, is holding its inaugural 420 festival. The event features live music, two designated smoking areas for those 21 and older, a beer tent, local business and food vendors, and live broadcasts from two local radio stations. But first and foremost the festival is a fundraiser for, perhaps surprisingly to some, the Bangor City Police Department.
âThe city has done so much for us that we wanted to give back to them so most of the funds raised here today will go toward new vests for the police officers,â said MarkÂ Smith, owner of The Green Door.
Mark Smith, owner
SmithÂ added that unlike other 420 festivals in Michigan, he feels the festival in Bangor focuses more on education.
âWe donât want this to be a thing like Hash Bash or the Cannabis Cup. We want this to be a relaxed and calm atmosphere where the public can come to learn about the benefits of marijuana,â he said.
Smith held to his word. The festival also featured guest speakers such as Michigan attorney Travis Copenhaver, who spoke to about the current state and federal marijuana laws as well as issues including banking services within the cannabis industry. So much for stereotypes. He then led a Q&A session addressing questions from the audience.
âI believe it will become federally legal within the next three to five years. The only thing holding us back is the laws catching up,â Copenhaver said. âAs more states make it legal on the East Coast, the more the federal government will be pressured to make it federally legal.â
Donât hit up the shop without browsing our 4/20 deals. Weâve partnered with retailers across the country to bring you deep discounts on pickup orders. Find your state, find a retailer near you, and enjoy the savings. Cheers!
If youâre looking to celebrate with a splurge, weâve also pulled together some of the best online cannabis accessories deals out there, from glass to dab tools to deluxe vaporizers.
VALINDA, CA â There are at least four other barbecues at Rimgrove Park this afternoon, so an average passerby might not notice that the group gathered around the covered picnic tables are actually here to celebrate 4/20 for Jesus.
Theyâre the congregation of the Hundred Harmonies cannabis church, led by Pastor James Young Phan. Phan has led the church for about two years, but theyâve never had a 4/20 celebration before.
âWe use cannabis for prayer every day,â he says. âThis isnât about that, this about family. We have so many people who have been judged before, they know they are welcome here.â
Sarah Ortega has felt that judgement firsthand. She grew up a Catholic, but family and other parishioners looked at her cannabis consumption as witchcraft or brujeria.
The gathering begins with a prayer, where Phan gives thanks for the company, the food, and of course, the sacrament. Thereâs a mix of young and old, parents and children, and some retirees hoping to finally have a meaningful relationship with God. No one is lighting up, but the Womenâs Group baked several batches of special cupcakes. Pastor Phan enthusiastically leads groups of congregants to the parking lot to âprayâ away from the general public.
Phanâs interpretation of Christianity relies on a theory that early version of the Old Testament were mistranslated and substituted calamus for what was supposed to be cannabis. For both he and his congregants, consuming it is almost akin to godliness.
George Oroseo, who joined the Church after visiting a Bible study, says this version of church is working for him.
âIâve only been going here for a month, and I see a difference. Iâm not as angry as I used to be, and I wasnât like that before I had the Bible.â
WASHINGTON, DC â In Washington, DCâhome of the largest joint military hospital in the nation and the Department of Veterans Affairsâveteransâ advocates are using the National Cannabis Festival as a platform to promote easier access to medical cannabis and raise awareness of veteran issues.
Much of the discussion here was on allowing cannabis to be used as an alternative to the pharmaceuticals freely prescribed for depression, anxiety, and PTSD. On a panel entitled âBridging the Gap: Veterans and Cannabis Advocacy,â vets such as Sarah Stenuf, founder of the Veterans Ananda nonprofit in New York, shared stories of finding a more natural treatment to ease the trauma of military service.
âCannabis changed my life. I got off 13 medications for everything from epilepsy to insomnia to PTSD,â Stenuf said. âI was on a slew of pills, they were just piling up. One day my boy came over with some cannabis. It changed my life. I realized that day I ate, I got out of the house âŚ it was working for me. The pills slowly started coming off.â
Others highlighted suicide as a major problem in the veteran community.
âWe lose a veteran every 72 minutes to suicide, and more than 1,700 active duty [military members] have committed suicide since 2012,â said Jose Bellen, founder & president of Mission Zero, a Florida-based organization dedicated to ending veteran suicide.
Jesus never referred to himself as âChristââthat name was given to him by his disciples. It means âthe anointed one.â Which makes sense, because as described in Mark 6:13, Jesus anointed his flock before sending them out to anoint others:
They cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sickÂ and healed them.
The recipe for the holy anointing oil used by Christ and his disciples to perform healing miracles is first found in the Old Testament (Exodus 30: 22-23), and calls for infusing nine pounds of a plant known as kaneh-bosmâtranslatedÂ literally as âfragrant caneââinto about six quarts of olive oil, along with essential extracts of myrrh and cinnamon.
According to conventional Biblical scholarship, the â250 shekels of kaneh-bosmââthatâs about nine pounds!âlisted in ancient Hebrew versions of the Old Testament supposedly refers to a flowering plant called calamus, but Chris Bennett, author of the 2001 book Sex, Drugs, and Violence in the Bible,Â believes this is a mistranslation, one stemming from a perhaps willful mistake made the first time the Old Testament was translated into Greek.
Kaneh-bosm, he claims, was cannabis.
Under gray skies, a spirited group of two dozen athletes rang in 4/20 with a different kind of high: running a 4.20 mile race through the streets of Manhattan.
The group raced through Manhattan during the 4 o’clock hour. ‘Weâre gonna be baked and active’ said organizer Tashawn Richards.
The event, titled Runnerâs High, kicked off at Come Back Daily, a cannabis community hub and dispensary-style storefront in the TriBeCa neighborhood. âWeâre gonna be baked and active,â exclaimed Tashawn Richards, who was leading the event, as the runners stretched and warmed up around him.
The group took off a few minutes past 4 p.m., weaving their way through the hectic narrow streets of Chinatown, then alongside the blooming trees in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Wisely, they took intermittent stops to ensure they both stayed together and had ample time to smoke some joints.
The run also provided some opportunities to educate the group about cannabis history in NYC. For instance, Richards highlighted the group of youth activists known as the Yippies, who launched NYCâs first Smoke Ins in the 1970s, while in Washington Square Park. âThey arenât hippies,â he pointed out, to laughter.
The run wrapped just an hour after it began, providing participants time to enjoy the rest of 4/20, ideally from the pleasurable confines of a couch.
â Max Savage Levenson
Looks like weâve started something of a tradition here at Leafly.
Last year Deputy Editor Bruce Barcott started off our 4/20 coverage with a photo of his favorite 420, this magnificent gold number he came across outside an office building in downtown Anchorage, AK.
Within hours, Jake Marquis tweeted out this selfie taken byÂ Parks and RecreationÂ star Nick Offerman in front of the great golden number.
This year Chris Robinson, former frontman of the Black Crowes and current leader of The CRB (the Chris Robinson Brotherhood), tweeted a special 4/20 post of himself enjoying a joint under the very same number.
Your fearless captain wishes you a groovy 420! Let the freakers freak on all day long! đ¨đ¨đ¨â¨
đ¨đ¨â¨đ¨đ¨đ¨â¨#freetheillegalplants â¨đą#mushroomsyourenext â¨đđâ¨ pic.twitter.com/5vQB5X5hWb
â The CRB (@TheCRB) April 20, 2019
Who will be next?
In the 1970s, Mary Jane Rathbun started selling âmagically deliciousâ pot brownies as a way to supplement her income as an IHOP waitress. A grandmotherly figure with curly gray hair, a kind-hearted disposition, and a sailorâs vocabulary, she quickly became a beloved figure in the Castro, San Franciscoâs predominantly gay neighborhood.
When the AIDS crisis of the 1980s hit the city, Rathbun quickly noticed two things: what was then a little-understood disease vastly disproportionately affected the young gay men sheâd taken to thinking of as her children, and cannabis proved incredibly effective in combating their symptoms and restoring their appetites. So she began volunteering as a nurseâs assistant and making her brownies available to patients for free.
Despite three separate arrests, she never stopped baking and never stopped advocating for medical cannabis patientsâincluding playing a leading role in the passage of Proposition 215, Californiaâs groundbreaking medical cannabis law.
As she once announced at a public rally:
If the narcs think Iâm going to stop baking pot brownies for my kids with AIDS, they can go fuck themselves in Macyâs window.
SAN FRANCISCO â California is doing surging cannabis commerce this 4/20, though discounts are less steep than in years past due to the increased cost of regulations.
Lines started forming as early as 6 a.m. Saturday in the Bay Area for cannabis that was discounted to as little as $1 per item at Berkeley Patients Group in Berkeley. Most stores opened at 8 or 9 oâclock this morning to long lines that stayed that way throughout the morning.
Connected Cannabis, in San Francisco, had lines down the block at 9 a.m. for discounted flowers, extracts, and edibles Saturday morning. Nearby Mission Organic Center did brisk business and handed out free Annieâs hotdogs and snacks.
The Harvest off Mission dispensary offered $2 bongloads in its public lounge, featuring Elyon cannabis brand Animal Cookies as well as Clementine. The public lounge gave out free food from Pizza Hacker and a DJ kept the mood festive.
While edible and extract discounts of up to 50% are common, flowers are seeing smaller discounts in California this year. Connected Cannabisâs best flower deal was a $50 eighth of designer indoor cannabisâAlien Labs Gelato #41âthat came with a $1 gram of select Alien Labs strains.
Harvest offered eighths as high at $60 that came with a $1 pre-rollâpretty tepid.
As one distributor put it: âI thought a lot of the âearly birdâ special were still pretty aggressive, but as we all know well, compliance and discounts arenât exactly going hand in hand yet in CA.â
April also marks a massive contraction in the number of licensed cannabis farms, from over 6,000 to an estimated 1,000. Thereâs debate over the future cannabis supply in the California adult use market. For their part, Californiaâs cannabis director, Nicole Elliott, and the stateâs regulator the Bureau of Cannabis Control, urged consumers today to stick to the legal market, despite its shortcomings.
Rain might have dampened celebrations but Toronto crowds still turned out in high spirits.
At Woodbine Park, the wet weather created swampy conditions for the vendorsâ market that saw black market distributors hawk their wares, everything from bulk bud to sweet infused treats.
At the HotBox Shop & Lounge in Kensington Market, celebrations took place under tents on the backyard patio that has newly been approved by city inspectors to operate as a legal cannabis consumption spaceâon the condition that they donât serve food.
Musical artist Fela Kuti became a lifelong cannabis advocate after smoking a joint for the first time at age 31 and experiencing a burst of creative inspiration that he later credited with helping him pioneer the Afro-Beat sound that made him a legend.
A fiery critic of the corrupt government in his home country of Nigeria, in 1970 Fela transformed his personal residence into a commune/recording studio/performance space he dubbed the Kalakuta Republic and declared to be a fully independent country, where smoking cannabis was perfectly legal.
The authorities responded by planting a joint on him during a raid of his compound. But thinking fast, Fela grabbed the evidence from the copsâ hands and ate it. Leading to a three-day standoff in prison, as the authorities demanded he produce a fecal sample so they could test it for THC.
The story of how he escaped that predicament became the inspiration for one of his most famous songs, Expensive Shit.
CHICAGO â Cannabis enthusiasts, patients, and supporters are out in the Andersonville neighborhood on Chicagoâs North Side today to celebrate 4/20 with a day of education and entertainment at the second-annual Waldos Forever Fest.
Ziff Sistrunk, medical cannabis patient
The free, all-day event runs from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and boasts various educational activities, Three Legged Tacos and Chicago Lunchbox food trucks, and live comedy and music acts, including Big Freedia, Akasha, Air Credits, White Mystery, and more. Right next door, medical cannabis provider Dispensary 33 is sweetening the dayâs festivities with special 4/20 discounts for registered Illinois patients.
Organizers said that more than 3,000 people plan to attend the Waldos Forever Festivalânamed after the legendary group of high school friends back in the 1970s called the âWaldosâ, to whom the origins of 4/20 are often attributed.
A sizable crowd began filling the street festival grounds well before live entertainment started up at noon. And although the smell of cannabis wasnât wafting through the air at this particular medical-focused event, the energy was filled with plenty of excitement and positive vibes.
âThis is the best day of the year,â said Ziff Sistrunk, an Illinois medical cannabis patient and festivalgoer. âItâs not just the marijuana part that I like about thisâitâs the education. I think thatâs a really important part of all of this. Iâm really interested in the benefits that can come from educating people about medical cannabis.â
âEmily Gray Brosious
Every year on April 20th (4/20), cannabis lovers celebrate their favorite plant with festivals, protests, marches, and smokesouts great and small. But what are the grassroots origins of this high holiday? And how did it spread around the world?
It all began in the fall of 1971 in San Rafael, California, when a group of wisecracking, weed-smoking students known as the Waldos got their call to adventure in the form of a treasure map. One of the Waldos had a friend whose brother was in the Coast Guard at the time, stationed nearby at the Point Reyes Lighthouse. For years this Coast Guard cadet had been planting a small patch of pot in a forgotten area of federal land near the remote outpost, but as harvest time drew near this time around, he got paranoid about his commanding officer busting him. So he drew a rough map showing where to search for the pot patch, and gave the Waldos permission to keep it all for themselves if they could find it before the weather turned or the buds rotted.
With the treasure map in hand, by pre-arrangement, the Waldos met at 4:20 pm on a fateful autumn afternoon under a statue of Louis Pasteur, to get high and gather their forces before setting out in search of the secret weed garden.
Amsterdam has long been a safe haven for cannabis freedom, but few today remember the subversive, anarchistic, defiantly pro-weed Dutch Provo movement (short for provocateurs), which used a mix of radical street theater and outrageous political pranks to expose the authorities as out of touch and incompetent, while bringing cannabis coffeeshops and seed banks to the Netherlands.
Hashish smoking was a central ritual at weekly Provos âhappenings,â and a push for legalization became a central tenant of the movementâs political demands.Â Eventually, the Provos ongoing clashes with the law led to the dismissal of Amsterdamâs authoritarian police chief and the resignation of the mayor.
When the movement officially disbanded in 1967, many Provos moved full-time into cannabis activism, including by founding the Lowlands Weed Company. Having discovered a rather sizable loophole in Dutch law (which banned only the âdried topsâ of the cannabis plant), the upstart venture began openly selling small cannabis plants and packs of seeds from a garishly painted houseboat floating in one of central Amsterdamâs many picturesque canals.
Photographer J.M. Giordano landed in Baltimore just in time to capture the festivities as the clock struck 4:20 at Baltimoreâs Charm City Smoke Fest.
LOS ANGELES â Around 10 a.m., a commuter bus pulled up to LA Kush, a cannabis retailer in the WestlakeâMacArthur Park neighborhood. Store manager Joshua Callier had been working for a month to find a loophole around Californiaâs consumption laws when he hatched a plan to hire a private bus company with a cannabis consumption permit to bypass the law.
Consumption in retail stores is banned in most California cities, as is public consumption, which means celebrating 4/20 at storefronts can be a little boring. But some retailers, like LA Kush, have found ways to get around the laws.
The flow of early foot traffic at the shop, despite relatively dreary weather, was fueled in part by the shopâs attractive $1-for-an-eighth deal, which predictably didnât last long. The shop also served coffee and donuts to welcome the first wave of 4/20 revelers.
Later, on the bus, a diverse group from around the country socialized while classic West Coast tunes from LA locals like Cypress Hill and Nipsey Hussle filled the air. The music leaked onto the streets where people had lined up to buy cannabis.
Just a couple years ago, events like this didnât happen in LAâespecially not legally and in neighborhoods like Westlake. This year, the legal market in LA is finding creative ways to make this 4/20 bigger than ever.
LAS VEGAS â Shouts of âHappy 4/20â greeted customers while employees from Nevada Wellness Center high-fived shoppers as they walked inside the storeâs double doors on Saturday morning. âMy Girlâ by The Temptations played in the background as clear, sunny 85-degree spring temperatures seemed to further encourage the celebration.
Frank Hawkins, a former Super Bowl-winning running back with the NFLâs Raiders franchise in Oakland and Los Angeles whose post-football career includes co-owning Nevada Wellness Center, said his early customer count was âbetter than expected.â Hawkins discounted half-ounces of flower up to 60 percent off regular price, down to $75, to help draw selective customers from the increasingly competitive legal marijuana market.
âPeople are more familiar with 4/20 so theyâve had a chance to pick their spots,â Hawkins said. âThey know what they like by now and they might go to a few different spots for the deals.â
â Reef Dispensaries (@ReefDispensarie) April 19, 2019
Owen Walker, a shopper at Reef Dispensary, located just a block off the Las Vegas Strip, said the marijuana store was one of three he and a group of friends were planning on buying from Saturday before a late-night smoking and dabbing session. After pinpointing deals on flower at Reef and shatter at nearby dispensaries Essence and Exhale Nevada, Walker said he and two friends split up to buy the products separately to minimize time waiting in line.
âDivide and conquer,â Walker explained. âWeâll get everything we need on time.â
â Chris Kudialis
Carlâs Jr. and Ben & Jerryâs arenât the only food companies capitalizing on the 4/20 holiday. Check out this list of companies offering great dealsâsome will definitely make sense, but you may be surprised by a few.
Need a Hersheyâs triple-chocolate brownie to accompany that pizza? Pizza Hutâs offering one for $4.20, only on 4/20.
How much ranch can you put on your greasy pizza and tater tots? Even condiment company Hidden Valley Ranch is jumping in on the game, offering five lucky contestants a yearâs supply of their Blasted Ranch Dressing and a $250 food delivery. Â
This NYC and Chicago chain is rewarding its Instagram followers for getting 4,200 likesâget $4.20 nachos all day at all their locations on 4/20.
San Francisco-based sandwich shop Ikeâs is offering a couple of their sandwiches for $4.20 through today. Make sure you grab a voucher before you head in.
Wisconsin-based pizza company is declaring today âWorldwide Topperstix Day.â Starting at 4:20 p.m., get 50% off any pizza sticks.
NEW YORK â Although New Yorkers woke up to a rainy 4/20, the skies soon cleared, and it took only a matter of minutes for High Noon, a party thrown at one of Brooklynâs finest bars, to escalate into full-on merriment. On the brightly-painted back patio, a delightful mix of pungent smoke and cool mist hung in the air as friends met and mingled.
Curated by local cannabis activism organizations Cannaclusive, Estrohaze and the Kushion Chill Series, High Noon offered one of the most diverse 4/20 events in the city. âIâm loving the vibe,â remarked one attendee. âIâm loving seeing my people out.â
Additionally, the event offered on-site consumption, and even the organizers seemed surprised that some of the flower, including top-notch strains like Peanut Butter Breath and Ice Cream Cake, from California and Washington, had sold out within an hour. More infused products were available inside, including snacks from Tainted Love BK, edibles from baked and a potent infused honey from Supreme Green Cuisine.
âItâs dope to be able to do this in New York, where [cannabis] isnât always out in the open,â remarked Mary Pryor, of Cannaclusive. Coming on the heels of New Yorkâs recent failure to legalize cannabis, events like High Noon show that New Yorkâs cannabis community isnât going away; in fact, itâs stronger than ever.
â Max Savage Levenson
LAS VEGAS â The 4/20 rush started early at Planet 13, billed as the largest cannabis retail space in the world, with over 16,200 square feet of store. The mega-facility, open 24 hours, had lines out the door starting just after midnight on Saturday, spokesman Brandon Garcia said, continuing a trend that began earlier this week.
Lines of eager shoppers were still waiting outside the door at noon, as Planet 13 gave away boxing gloves signed by Mike Tyson and water bottles with tickets for marijuana discounts inside them, among other goodies.
Despite the rush, Planet 13 spokesman Brandon Garcia said the shop was expecting Saturdayâs customer count to be about the same as Fridayâs tally of 3,200 marijuana holiday shoppers. The store record, set during its grand opening, was closer to 3,300 transactions. âPeople tend to buy their products the day before the holiday,â he said. âBut you never know, especially because 4/20 falls on a weekend this year.â
Giveawaysâspecifically the raffling off of an entire pound of marijuana flowerâbrought over 1,500 customers to The+Source last year for Nevadaâs first 4/20 with legal adult-use sales. The west Las Vegas dispensary is only raffling off two ounces of flower this year, but outdoor entertainment including live music, a magician, glassblowers and mural painters had over 30 customers waiting in line before The+Sourceâs 8 a.m. opening enjoying a Vegas-style experience.
In 1967, Harvard Medical School professor Dr. Lester Grinspoon set out to research cannabis sufficiently enough to convince his best friendâfamed astronomer Carl Saganâto stop smoking weed all the time. But after making a fateful trip to the library, Grinspoon returned convinced the case against Mary Jane was all lies and propaganda.
So he wrote a book called Marihuana Reconsidered (1971) that changed the conversation around cannabis forever. It even included an anonymous essay from Carl Sagan (writing as Mr. X) on his love of cannabis as a creative catalyst and spiritual aid.
I do not consider myself a religious person in the usual sense, but there is a religious aspect to some highs. The heightened sensitivity in all areas gives me a feeling of communion with my surroundings, both animate and inanimate. Sometimes a kind of existential perception of the absurd comes over me and I see with awful certainty the hypocrises and posturing of myself and my fellow men. And at other times, there is a different sense of the absurd, a playful and whimsical awareness. Both of these senses of the absurd can be communicated, and some of the most rewarding highs Iâve had have been in sharing talk and perceptions and humor. Cannabis brings us an awareness that we spend a lifetime being trained to overlook and forget and put out of our minds.
The gates are open at Golden Gate Parkâs âHippie Hillâ this morning, as San Francisco and the greater Bay Area wake and bake in thick coastal fog for 4/20.
In Golden Gate Parkâs Robin Williams Meadow, a space that can hold more than 20,000 people, a free smokeout is happening. At one time unsanctioned, the decade-old gathering is now permitted by the city of San Francisco. Cannabis company Greenrush.com pays for security and amenities throughout the daylong event.
The breezy mood will peak at 4:20 p.m., when Greenrush conducts a âBud Dropâ similar to a New Yearâs Eve ball drop.
Meanwhile, the originators of the term â420,â The Waldos, are touring Bay Area stores today, stopping by Hi-Fidelity in Berkeley, The Apothecariumâs San Francisco location, and The Vapor Room. The Waldos now sell their own vaporizer cartridges through Chemistry.
Major dispensaries Berkeley Patients Group (BPG), Harborside, Magnolia, The Green Door, Harvest, and SPARC all plan day-long mixes of free food, music, speakers, swag, and cannabis deals. BPG turns 20 years old and expects 1,200 people today.
And at major venues today, thereâs 420 Trippie Hill with Berner at The Midway, 4/20 Comedy Festival, and the 420 Spring Blossom Soiree at the Kabuki Hotel. Also, a newly licensed cannabis barâdubbed a âconsumption loungeââopens in Oakland today, called FLYT.
Lastly, ride-share service Lyft offers $4.20 in ride credits today in San Francisco, so donât get behind the wheel.
TRENTON â Cannabis advocates gathered at the New Jersey Statehouse to mark 4/20 with a combined rally, protest, and smoke out. Gov. Phil Murphy raised hopes and expectations when he campaigned hard on cannabis reform and won, but itâs now been 14 months since Murphy took his oath and reforms arenât happening quickly enough for a properly ebullient 4/20 celebration.
Amanda Hoffman, a board member at the Coalition for Medical Marijuana of NJ, is in Trenton highlighting the need to pass legislation to legalize cannabis and improve NJâs underwhelming medical cannabis program. âMedical marijuana is too expensive for many patients to access,â Hoffman told Leafly. âWeâre fighting for homegrow and to break up the current monopoly, because prices and still high and supplies are still low.â
âThis urgently needed legislation would reduce recertification to once a year. Until then, I have to prove my incurable illness four times a year.â
Edward âLeftyâ Grimes travels the state documenting the obstacles to progress. Local opposition to dispensaries is strong in many towns, where grievances include concerns about the smell and other alleged inconveniences Grimes was streaming his award-winning podcast, Sativa Cross, from the Statehouse lawn.
âTheyâre complaining about the stench of cannabis companies,â he told Leafly. âTheyâre like, âThese farms are going to stink up the neighborhood,ââ so I get up there and I say, âYou know what smells worse than cannabis? A dead baby who just died in his motherâs arms after a 26-hour seizure. You know it smells worse than cannabis? A veteran sitting in his own waste with all the windows shut for a month with a gun in his mouth. That smells worse than cannabis.ââ
Itâs a somber mood today in Trenton. Activists did not come to play.
In September 1978, not long after getting busted and briefly jailed for cannabis possession in the Bahamas, Willie Nelson traveled to Washington, DC, to play a concert at the White House that climaxed with him singing a duet with First Lady Rosalyn Carter. Afterwards, he was invited to stay overnight in the Lincoln Bedroom. According to Willie, following a pleasant dinner, and right before turning in, a âWhite House insiderâ offered him a private tour of the building.
Asked if he wanted to venture out on the roof of the White House and take in the presidential residenceâs unparalleled views of the city, Willie happily accepted. Much to his surpriseâand delightâupon reaching the buildingâs apex, his escort slyly offered him a joint to smoke while gazing down at our nationâs capitol from one of the highest points in the city.
Hereâs how the incident is described in Willie: An Autobiography:
Sitting on the roof of the White House in Washington, DC, with a beer in one hand and a fat Austin Torpedo in the other, I let the weed cover me with a pleasing cloud and drifted into a reflective moodâŚ Nobody from the Secret Service was watching usâor if they were, it was with the intention of keeping us out of trouble instead of getting us into it. I guess the roof of the White House is the safest place to smoke dope.
If youâre new to edibles, the best advice is to start low and go slow. Donât rush to gobble down that brownie, no matter how delicious. This handy chart is a great resource for avoiding an unpleasant experience. Read the full story for more advice on how to find the right edible for you.
Whether someoneâs new to cannabis or just couldnât resist another infused chocolate, itâs certainly possible to cross the line fromÂ high intoÂ too high. Thereâs no shame in that. But if you or a friend arenât enjoying your 4/20 experience, thatâs a problem. Weâre here to help.
Looking for more tips and tricks? Head over to the full article.
âAs soon as we opened the doors, we had about 30 people in line and about 10 cars deep (in the drive-thru),â Carlâs Jr. District Manager Alex McConnell told Leafly this morning as customers streamed into a lone Denver store for a one-day-only sale of the chainâs promotional CBD-infused burger. âSo we hit the ground running, thatâs for sure.â
The store reportedly sold 102 burgers in the first hour of the promotion, and around 274 by 9:00 a.m. It expects to be sold out of its allotted 1,000 CBD burgers, which include locally-sourced, hemp-derived CBD, by about 4:00 p.m.
According to a company press release the Rocky Mountain High: CheeseBurger Delight (CBD, get it?) Â âfeatures two 100% charbroiled beef patties paired with Carlâs Jr. signature Santa Fe Sauce infused with hemp-based CBD oil, pickled jalapeĂąos, pepper jack cheese and CrisscutÂŽ fries to give the burger the extra crunch â all between a premium bun.â The burger sells for $4.20 each, in honor of the day, two per customer limit.
But inquiring minds want to know: How does the thing actually taste? Read our full story to find out.
WASHINGTON, DC âThe 20,000 expected attendees at todayâs National Cannabis Festival will be greeted by 70-degree temperatures and abundant sunshine. Itâs perfect weather for taking in live music sets by headliners Ludacris and Action Bronson, sure, but thereâs more here than munchies and giant inflatable joints. Cannabis advocates and educators from across the region are promoting awareness of the political and social issues plaguing the nascent industry.
â4/20 is a day to celebrate the plant and all its healing capabilities, but itâs also [a day] to take action and consider the ways we need to reform our laws,â said Queen Adesuyi, the Drug Policy Allianceâs policy coordinator. âWeâve partnered with the National Cannabis Festival since the beginning. âŚ Itâs much bigger [this year]. Every year itâs continued to grow in line with the way support for marijuana has throughout the country.â
With Democratic presidential candidates almost unanimously supporting ending federal prohibition and Congress considering bills such as the STATES Act to harmonize state and federal law, advocacy groups are heralding the dawn of a new era for cannabis inside the Beltway.
âFor a long time, the states were the primary focus of moving legislation. There was just nothing that would move forward federally,â said Patrick Nightingale, executive director of Pittsburgh NORML. âNow we have a number of bills in the House of Representatives and the Senate. âŚ It is a very exciting time for NORML chapters now to come to Washington, DC, knowing that our voice is being heard.â
Policy advocates are enjoying larger crowds and great weather here at RFK Stadium, but theyâre hoping the real action will take place a few miles west, in the halls of the Capitol.
For the second year running, Natureâs Care and Wellness in Perryville, MD, is throwing an outdoor 4/20 festivalÂ with food (including free barbecue from Mojo BBQ), live music, and all sorts of vendors. We sent photographer J.M. Giordano to check out the scene.
Weâre wondering why the Joshua Tree National Park chose to tweet this out on 4/20. Itâs curious. Just saying. Because their instructions on how to correctly assist a desert tortoise out of harmâs way on a lonely roadâŚwell, itâs exactly how some of us move after an assist from the herb.
The only time when itâs okay to touch a #tortoise is to remove them from the road. Just remember to move them slow, low, and in the direction they are already going. You may look #funny as you move them, but keeping the tortoise calm is important. #NationalParkWeek pic.twitter.com/GxldcF44kI
â Joshua Tree NPS (@JoshuaTreeNPS) April 20, 2019
As millions of Americans in legal states celebrate their 4/20 freedom today, many Americans in prohibition states are working hard to change local laws. In Boise, Russ Belville is working the crowd at Boise Hempfest, collecting signatures for the Idaho Cannabis Coalitionâs medical marijuana ballot measure.
In Austin, the folks at Texas NORML are hanging out on a beautiful day at ReggaeFest:
Meanwhile, across town, our friends at Austinâs premiere glassware emporium are prepping the stage for their Happy Clouds Festival, which was scheduled to kick off at noon local time.
Great Moments in Weed History w/ Abdullah and Bean (recently named by Leafly as one of the best podcasts to get high to) delves deep into humanityâs more than 10,000-year relationship with cannabis to find the humor, heart, and historical importance of this very special plant.
To celebrate 4/20, theyâre helping us count down 10 of their favorite stories from the long and fascinating history of cannabis. Read on for the first installment, check back for more, and donât forget to subscribe viaÂ Apple Podcasts (iTunes),Â Spotify,Â Stitcher,Â Soundcloud, orÂ Google Play.
When Bob Dylan arrived at New York Cityâs swanky Delmonico Hotel on an August night in 1964, he mistakenly believed the Beatlesâwhom he was meeting for the first timeâalready smoked grass, based on a misheard lyric on I Want to Hold Your Hand. But when Dylan offered to smoke them out, John Lennon had to bashfully point out that the lads from Liverpool were actually singing âI canât hide,â not âI get highâ on the chorus.
From there, a scene unfolded straight out of a B-movie stoner comedy, only it starred some of the 20th centuryâs most influential and enduring artists at the very outset of their storied careers.
According to journalist Al Aronowitzâs lengthy first person account of the encounter:
I still hadnât learned how to roll a joint in those days, so when the Beatles agreed to try some, I asked Dylan to roll the first joint. Bob wasnât much of a roller either, and a lot of the grass fell into the big bowl of fruit on the room service tableâŚ
Is 4/20 on its way to becoming an actual holiday? Maybe not yet. But itâs definitely got a lot of companies thinking about how to cash in. TodayâsÂ Guardian quotes KitÂ Yarrow, a consumer psychologist at Golden Gate University, who says 4/20 is on its way to becoming a mainstream national holiday and thatâs largely a function of the booming marijuana business.
The discussion what 4/20 means and how it should evolve continues to unfold.
âItâs still a celebration of marijuana but the conversation has been expanded by brands that tie into the cannabis industry and for marketers to tie into something that has a coolness to it,â Yarrow told the paper. That conversation, she added, is increasingly focused on people wondering what role cannabis may play in their life.
In cannabis culture that discussion of 4/20, what it means and how it should evolve, continues to unfold. Leaflyâs Elise McDonough polled 12 cannabis leaders on the question recently. âIn my perfect world, 4/20 would become a day to remember the harms of prohibition, honor those who fought to end it, and smoke some amazing cannabis,â said Flow Kana executive Amanda Reiman. Cannabis Camera photographer Kim Sidwell noted:Â â4/20 celebrations present the OPPORTUNITY to present a positive image of cannabis consumers to the world âŚ unfortunately, the opposite often occurs.â
Author David Bienenstock offered an interesting take on The Roll-Up podcast yesterday. So many holidays are based on religious ritual, national history, or elder reverence. 4/20 could be, in part, a day to celebrate universal human experience of fun, delight, mirth, laughter, silliness. As Bienenstock said:Â âThe absurdity is the point.â
CHERRY HILL, NJ â Cannabis aficionados in New Jersey hoping for a nice spring day to celebrate 4/20 were disappointed to wake up to flash flood warnings. It felt like a metaphor here in NJ, where the cannabis legalization debate has gone sideways.
The best thing about 4/20 in New Jersey is that patients can actually score the good stuff for $10 per gram.
Likewise our medical cannabis program continues to underwhelm. Many of the Chris Christie-era regulations are still in place and patients shell out $500 for an ounce of top-shelf cannabis. Plus sales tax. Minus home-cultivation.
The best thing about 4/20 in New Jersey is that patients can actually score the good stuff (itâs all relative) for $10 per gram at their dispensary. In many states thatâs highway robbery. But in NJ, home to only six dispensaries serving 9 million people, $10 a gram is quite the bargain. But I wonât be shopping at any of them. I canât. They wouldnât let me in. Apparently I ran afoul of NJâs overzealous regulations.
Anyone enrolled in NJâs program must recertify their qualifying condition every 60 daysâand yes, thatâs crazy. My certification ran out on April 18, when I failed to prove I havenât been magically cured of HIV. I LOLâd imagining how that conversation with my doctor might go.
âIâm sorry, Mr. Lassiter, youâre no longer legally permitted to smoke cannabis,â she says. âOn a more positive note, youâre no longer HIV positive.â
Iâve been HIV+ for 27 years and Iâve used cannabis the entire time. Most of that time as a criminal. Including, sadly, today.
You ainât showing up for Passover seder or Easter service in your tatty Old Navy t-shirt, are you? So do it up right today. Take a lesson from comedian andÂ Cooking on HighÂ starÂ Ngaio Bealum, whoâll be rocking a full house at The Paramount Room in Oklahoma City later tonight. (And perhaps sampling the dispensaries this afternoonâhe planned ahead and brought his card to enjoy that fine reciprocity.)
And if you want to go full-on fabulous, respect the commitment of Vicky DeVille, aka Princess High the Cannabis Queen.
Look, a cheeseburger at 6 a.m. ainât our thing, but if you want to go there, more power to you. So hereâs a morning salute to Johnny Wysocki, the Denver man who showed up in the wee hours and claimed the second CBD-infused burger from the Carlâs Jr. location at 4050 Colorado Blvd. The cost? $4.20 each, of course. Wysocki ordered two. No word on how they tasted. Also of note: Carlâs Jr. is limiting customers to two burgers per person, and patrons must be 18 or older. This may be the first time anyoneâs ever carded a Carlâs Jr. customer.
No, â420â is not police code for cannabis consumption. And unless you know about the treasure map, thereâs more to that origin story youâve likely heard than âletâs meet at 4:20 to blaze it.â The truth is that it all started with a Coast Guard sailor, a secret map, and some students in California known as the Waldos. Explore the epic tale as reported by Leafly contributor David Bienenstock, one of Californiaâs most seasoned cannabis reporters.
But wait, thereâs more! Act now, or whenever, and weâll throw in a chronic chronology of great moments in 4/20 history. It includes winners like this guy, who probably deserves a toast today:
If youâd like to spend more of 4/20 paying homage to the pioneers who got us here, weâve got you covered. If youâre smoking some Jack Herer, maybe read his biography, tooâor that of fellow trailblazer Dennis Peron, often called the father of medical marijuana. Or how about âBrownie Mary,â who earned her nickname baking cannabis-infused brownies, which she gave away for free to San Francisco AIDS patients? If you want to go way back, check out the story of the first two Americans arrested during the countryâs more than eight-decade war on cannabis, how Vietnam veterans medicated in wartime, or the way racism helped give rise to the drug war. Or, for a change of pace, read about the Deadhead glass artist who forever changed the way we look at pipes and bongs.Â We stand on the shoulders of giants, and itâs a perfect day to remember them.
SEATTLE â The first-annual Spliff Film Fest, an amateur film festival âfor stoners, by stoners,â has kicked off at select locations in Washington, Oregon, California, and New Mexico. Organized by the same people behind Hump Fest, which features amateur erotica and locally produced pornography, Spliffâs entriesâwhich can be no longer than four minutes and 20 secondsâsalute marijuanaâs myriad effects.
âWeâve been toying with other ideas for film festivals, and we came up with the pot idea because weâre all just a bunch of potheads,â said Robert Crocker, Spliffâs executive producer. âWe wanted to keep it in the same format as Humpâthey have to be short films, and we asked filmmakers to give us something that [shows] us what pot meant to them or what do they like to do when theyâre stoned.â
More than 250 entries ultimately streamed in, each with its own take on the meaning of cannabis. Thereâs a comical, mid-90s-esque PSA called âN.O.P.E.â; a psychedelic film called âCorporate Coitusâ; and a piece that explores the dire consequences of the munchies: âMunchie Massacre.â Crockerâs favorites included a film called âCandy Sandwich,â about two stoners making a sweet treat, and another dubbed âGood Game Bud,â about two guys on a couch trying to pass an entire joint without ashing it.
âThe submissions were really, really good,â Crocker said. âWe learned that people are much more comfortable with pot. Just from that response and the quality, we feel really good about how it all came out.â
âWelcome to my annual call celebrating 4/20 eve,â began one of Congressâs most effective legalization advocates during a press call on Friday. âI want to begin by observing how much we have to celebrate in the course of this last year.â
In an informal and wide-ranging conversation with reporters, Blumenauer, a founding member of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus and the architect of what heâs called a âBlueprint to Legalize Marijuana,â discussed victories both in Congress and at the state level over the past year. He also struck an optimistic tone for the future, predicting progress on high-priority fronts including banking reform, access for veterans, and interstate cannabis trade. He even teased the idea of a North American cannabis compact, a sort of trade deal that could eventually allow international cannabis commerce among the United States, Canada, and Mexico, which is also considering legalization.
âIâm bringing some people together to talk this through, about how to do it,â Blumenauer explained when asked for details. âItâs something that needs to be unpacked. Weâre kind of busy right now in a variety of areas, but itâs something I plan on exploring.â He also expressed support for state-level efforts, such as Oregonâs, to pursue interstate cannabis trade.
Blumenauer credited growing public support for cannabis reform with changing the Congressional landscape, pointing out, for example, the exit of staunch prohibitionist Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX). âOne of the reasons he is an ex-member of Congress,â Blumenauer said, âis because of his unrelenting opposition.â
âJust today there was an announcement of a CBS poll that showed support at the highest level ever, 65%,â he noted, as well as majority support among both Republicans and people over 65. âItâs a remarkable development in recent years where it has steadily, steadily increased.â
This year, he said at the end of the call, âthereâs a lot to celebrate with 4/20.â
The first time I ever tried to roll a joint, it was 4/20. I wrapped the paper around a pencil, sealed it, then stuffed in some flower. I went outside with a friend, sparked it, and proceeded to watch the thing canoe so badly that I brought most of the unburnt cannabis back home in the palm of my hand.
Donât be like me back then. Find a friend, grab your supplies, and get crafting. Practice makes perfect. (Donât forget the crutch!)
â Ben Adlin
This week Ben & Jerryâs announced a partnership with Caliva, the California cannabis retailer and delivery service, to raise money to clear old marijuana recordsâa process called expungement.
All Californians 21 and older with valid ID who place orders with Caliva on Friday and Saturday get a free pint of Ben & Jerryâs Half-Baked with their cannabis order. On Saturday, 4.2% of allÂ CalivaÂ revenue on delivery ordersâand in-store orders in San Joseâbenefit Code for Americaâs âClear My Recordâ program. Justice never tasted so sweet.
Read the full article here.
You think youâve had a busy month? Donât even. Early April is holiday season for cannabis farmers and processors. Theyâve got to package and ship tons of product out to retail stores before the crowds descend during 4/20 week. And that means long hours, especially for small business owners.
Hereâs a slice of life courtesy of Danielle Rosellison, owner of Trail Blazinâ Cannabis in Bellingham, WA. Ah, the glamour!
End this happy holiday in bed, not jail. Find yourself a designated driver or take advantage of the many 4/20 deals offered by rideshare companies.
Hereâs the news you can use: Law enforcement agencies all over the country are mounting DUI emphasis patrols on 4/20, because 4/20 isnât exactly a secret anymore. Weâve seen announcements from cops in Bellevue and Spokane, WA; Lawrence, KS; and statewide across Missouri. Those are just the places that got news hits. Police in most legal states will be paying extra attention to the roads on Saturday.
In Washington, the State Patrol will be deploying its updated mobile impaired driving unit (MIDU) in the Bellevue area, east of Seattle. The MIDU is a 36-foot motorhome retrofitted to function as a mobile DUI processing center.Â Drug recognition experts (DRE) will be on board for evaluations. The MIDU will also be staffed with phlebotomists for legal blood draws.
Check in your area to see if local companies might be offering special deals on Uber or Lyft rides. Oregrown, based in Bend, OR, is offering $10 off your Lyft or Uber ride to or from the storeâs annual 4/20 event. Lyft is offering a $4.20 discount for rides anywhere in Colorado on 4/20, and the same deal applies statewide in Massachusetts. The rideshare company also has sweet deals in Detroit, Las Vegas, Ottawa, Seattle, and Toronto. Check out Lyftâs 420 Ride page for all the special deals.
Hey, look at that! You made it all the way to the end of our 4/20 liveblog. Treat yourself.