A lot of us have a favorite number, and for a lot of cannabis lovers, that number is 420. It’s more than an easy slang abbreviation to refer to your doobage; it’s an actual date: April 20. Let’s take a brief look at the history of 420 and the best ways and how to celebrate 420!
April 20, commonly known as 420, is the annual date cannabis aficionados around the world find ways to celebrate 420 by smoking up and enjoying life. The actual origins of the connection between cannabis and said number are not completely clear. Many grew up thinking that it had something to do with the California police or penal code, but there is actually no evidence to support this. Some say it’s called 420 because that is the number of active chemicals within the leaf, but that’s also inaccurate as it has been proven that there are more than 500 such components. Currently, the most commonly accepted explanation relates to a High Times article from 1991 about a group of high schoolers in the 70s who called themselves The Waldos and claimed they originated 420 as a euphemism.
Regardless of how the term 420 came to be, the connection between it and cannabis culture is now irrefutable. And if you are looking for the best way to celebrate 420, the “stoner holiday,” we have lots of great suggestions.
Big City Celebrations
If you are lucky enough to live somewhere with legal recreational cannabis, some of the best ways to celebrate 420 are local in-person events. Do a quick internet search for local events to find out how to celebrate 420 in your community.
From the Mile High 420 Fest in Denver to 420 Wonder Land in Tampa, the Strangefruit 420 Popup in Chicago or the Underground 420 Fest in Los Angeles to the largest and most famous of all the 420 celebrations, 420 Hippie Hill in San Francisco, there are lots of great ways to celebrate 420 with other like-minded individuals. And if Hippie Hill has always been a dream but you aren’t close enough to San Francisco to attend (or you just don’t feel like leaving your couch), for the first time in history the historic cannabis event will be available to livestream.
Get Out and Breathe
Since April is a month that generally brings warmer weather across the country, one of the best ways to celebrate 420 is outdoors. Plan a solo journey, grab your honey or get a group of friends together to appreciate the fresh air by enjoying outdoor activities like hiking, bike riding, rollerblading or horseback riding. You can also do some at-home gardening or visit a local park — there’s no wrong way to enjoy the outdoors! If you can, watch the sunset from the beach or the mountains. Pairing cannabis with the outdoors is always a good choice, especially on 420.
Enjoy Your Space
You work hard to make your home beautiful, so why not enjoy it? Maybe turn off all your devices and simply relax at home. You can delve into one of these great books about weed or get your groove on with some of the best stoner tunes around or put on one of these amazing flicks about getting high to enjoy while you’re high. Alone or with friends, there’s nothing wrong with getting cozy. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to celebrate 420.
Indoors or out, you can always get crafty and make something special to commemorate the day. Be inspired by companies like Puff, Pass & Paint to get your art on and get nice and high before you create a magnificent canvas, or take an online cannabis cooking class so edibles aren’t just something you buy, but something you can make for yourself.
Alternatively, get yourself some weed-related Mad Libs or just make up some of your own. There are no set rules on how to celebrate 420 — just tap into your inner muse and let it guide you.
Get a Discount
With so many dispensaries offering significant discounts on April 20, perhaps the best way to celebrate 420 is by stocking up on what you need. Maybe even try a new cannabis product that you’ve been eyeing or experiment with something different like cannabis concentrates. To supplement the munchies, some restaurants and delivery apps even offer 420-themed discounts, so you may as well make use of them! 420 only comes around once per year, so don’t let these opportunities pass you by.
Make a Difference
If you’re able to partake in that good good, we think you should should. Remember that until very recently, this wasn’t easy to do without facing potential legal ramifications. While 37 states currently have legalized medicinal cannabis and 21 states allow recreational usage, that is still not all 50. Not only are there many places that presently prohibit people from consuming cannabis legally, there are still people sitting in jail for consuming or selling cannabis. While it is great to enjoy the 420 holiday and all it represents, it is important to reflect on how far we still need to go before true cannabis legalization is fully realized. Cage Free Cannabis, the Last Prisoner Project, and The Social Impact Center are some great organizations working to repair the harm caused by the War On Drugs. Learning more about the current issues, attending a protest or otherwise getting involved is how to celebrate 420 in a truly unselfish way that can benefit others.
Whether 420 is just a shorthand you use when discussing cannabis, the time of day (or night) when you choose to toke up or a special once-a-year holiday you celebrate, you can connect with other like-minded individuals and stay on the cutting edge of cannabis innovations and technology by attending one of the many CannaCon expos near you. With hundreds of exhibitors, dozens of speakers and thousands of attendees, CannaCon is your one-stop shop for all things cannabis. Celebrate 420 by getting tickets and planning your visit to the nation’s leading business-to-business cannabis conference this year.
This article was originally published April 20, 2022. Updated April 10, 2023.