As drinkers celebrate their intoxicant of choice on St. Patrick’s Day (and New Year’s Eve and Cinco de Mayo), so pot smokers have April 20th to pay homage to the herb.
But why 4/20—or, 4:20, if you’re on the daily? Many stories have floated around, but the one with the most credibility lays the origin of the term to a group of California high school students during the 70s who would meet after school to smoke up at, you guessed it, 4:20. An older brother hung out with the Grateful Dead, who began using the term, then High Times picked it up and, within a few years, the whole hip world was on to 420.
So, how to celebrate the holiday? Well, to get business out of the way before pleasure, NORML (that’s the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), is sponsoring a Day of Action and a “thunderclap,” in which cannabis advocates will take to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and that most feared method of political contact, the phone, to demand that their representatives end marijuana prohibition. If you’re ready to celebrate cannabis, you should also be ready to stand up for it, so take a few minutes to do your part.
There are a number of interesting events happening this April 20 that, while not necessarily marijuana-focused, will appeal to those who are. (Of course, public consumption of marijuana is still illegal, so please enjoy your treats before attending and make sure to arrange for safe transportation.) The Dome at Container Park will be screening their Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd shows—the former with “surrealistic and immersive CGI imagery,” the latter featuring visuals inspired by The Wall, natch. If you want to take your “Woah!” to the next level, Le Rêve at Wynn Las Vegas features a cascade of mind-blowing images and fantastic stunts sure to keep even the sober spellbound, while the Jabbawockeez offer something a bit more beat— and joke—heavy, but impressive in its own way.
For those interested in live music, the tributes continue at the Bunkhouse, where Bricks will perform the music of Pink Floyd live; joining them on the lineup will be Acid and Pearls, serving up Jimi Hendrix. Over at Dive Bar, the Dirty Ragae Punx will be playing, well, dirty reggae punk. And, if you can wait one more day, the doggfather himself, Snoop Dogg will headline the Merry Jane Mount Kushmore Wellness Retreat tour at Mandalay Bay Beach on April 21, joined by Cypress Hill and the Flatbush Zombies.
If you prefer a more artistic holiday, the cheerful and creative folks at Puff, Pass & Paint will be hosting one of their painting events on April 20; on April 21, they will be doing Puff, Pass & Pamper, a class on creating THC beauty products. At Institution 18b, Future Arts 420 will bring graffiti artists from Boston and Los Angeles, as well as a panel with cultivator Donnie Danko. Gold Spike will also be hosting an animal-themed art auction, with a number of artists and body painters creating work on the spot.
The 20th is also when Springs Preserve celebrates their monthly Third Thursday event—the Origen Museum is open late, featuring their new exhibit, “The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” (try not to freak when you climb through the giant snake) and the Divine Cafe has happy hour prices on food and drinks, as well as live music. On the other side of town, the Pinball Hall of Fame is full of games to pump your quarters into, from Bowling Queen to Black Knight to Bride of Pinbot.
Just want to mac down? The Linq Promenade offers plenty of options. Both Brooklyn Bowl and Virgil’s Real BBQ offer large plates of delectable comfort food, as well as a solid soundtrack. If you just want a fast favorite, there’s an In-N-Out Burger and don’t forget the Sprinkles cupcake ATM—Easter may have passed, but the carrot cake and chocolate marshmallow cupcakes will still be in the house.
If you prefer to celebrate at home, the El Rey network will be showing kung fu movies all evening long, while Comedy Central will run the “Towelie” and “Medicinal Fried Chicken” episodes of South Park, followed by Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. Or you can honor one of history’s greatest pot smokers, learn something and look at really trippy shit on the original Cosmos series, hosted by genius and fan of the herb, Carl Sagan. While science has advanced since then, Sagan’s insights and the glorious imagery still hold up—check out topdocumentaryfilms.com/cosmos for episodes. Then hit the streets for the March for Science on April 22 in the Arts District to show your support for science and maybe meet some nice Neil deGrasse Tyson fans.
Of course, many medical marijuana dispensaries will be celebrating the holiday with special deals and sales. The Apothecary Shoppe, Reef Dispensaries, the Grove, the Apothecarium, Essence and The Source shops are among those who will be honoring the date with special deals, food trucks, giveaways and more. Of course, you still need a medical card to shop. Sucks, we know, but remember: In a few months we’ll all be able to celebrate.