A pro-cannabis activist stands over a highway in Trenton, NJ, on April 20, 2014. (Mel Evans/AP)
Happy 420! We’ll have live rolling coverage of the world’s cannabis festival throughout the day from Leafly News staff around the globe. Be sure to check out Leafly’s event calendar for 4/20 celebrations near you.
LIVE UPDATES (Pacific time):
We’re Off to Celebrate
4:49 p.m. — OK, friends, we’re going to roll out a little early today to go celebrate 4/20 ourselves. Here’s hoping you have a pleasant evening planned (and if you don’t, check out these ideas). For more updates, be sure to follow @Leafly, @LeaflyEvents, and @LeaflyNews on Twitter.
From all of us here at Leafly and Leafly News, thanks for joining us on 4/20!
4:21 p.m. — For those of you keeping score at home, it’s the first 4/20 in history to see legal adult-use cannabis along the entire West Coast of the United States. If that’s not something to celebrate, don’t know what is.
Reminiscing about the departed matriarch while partaking in the annual festivities, members of the Osterman family sadly marked their first 4/20 since the passing of their grandmother, sources reported Thursday.
Family members wistfully told reporters that grandmother Joan Osterman, who passed away last October at the age of 83, heartily enjoyed the revelry of 4/20 every year, recalling how the elderly woman always had the kindest, dankest nugs and the sweetest perma-grin on her face after ripping a huge bong hit.
3:51 p.m. — Noting the growing federal support for cannabis reform, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts posted to Facebook that it’s time to have “a serious conversation about rescheduling marijuana.”
3:43 p.m. — We’re not far from 4:20 on the West Coast, and it’s shaping up to be a gorgeous afternoon in Canada’s cannabis capital. Admire these photos from CBC News photog Rafferty Baker, who’s on the scene at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach.
3:11 p.m. — Fans of the offbeat animated show, rejoice! The virtual reality version of Rick & Morty just landed. It’s available for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, just in case you don’t have anything to do until tomorrow. Here’s the trailer:
2:41 p.m. — Leafly contributor Dante Jordan put together a list of 10 albums to celebrate the high holiday. We can’t describe the result any better than he does:
When it comes to “HighTunes,” I look for a certain feel. I like to listen to music that my soul can hear. I want the music to grab me and take me a place in my mind/heart that I wasn’t even aware existed.
To help capture that feeling today, I’ve created a list of albums that perfectly illustrate what I mean, and since we’re family, I’m going to share it with you because I want your 4/20 to be musically perfect. So load a bowl (or five), throw on one of these albums, and enjoy the day/night to the best of your abilities.
2:27 p.m. — Hey Oregon, how’s your day shaping up? Hungry for pizza? In case you haven’t heard already, we’re in the midst of Portland Mercury’s Pizza Week. There’s a whole lineup of pizza joints offering $2 slices now through April 22. Here’s the complete list. You’re welcome.
On the subject of pizza, here’s a fun fact from a Twitter account we’ve never heard of and can’t verify, but we liked its taste in GIFs:
2:23 p.m. — Earlier today state lawmakers in Colorado decided to allow doctors to recommend cannabis to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) in adults. Senate Bill 17 passed a second reading, although representatives felt there should be additional protections before children can access cannabis for PTSD. So they hammered out an amendment that would require that one of the two doctors recommending cannabis to a minor be a pediatrician, board-certified family physician, or a board-certified child and adolescent psychologist. (A separate, failed amendment would’ve scrapped minors from the bill entirely.)
“On this auspicious day, we’ve got a serious bill,” said co-sponsor Sen. Jonathan Singer (D-Longmont).
Could a Federal Crackdown Actually Help Legalization?
2:06 p.m. — That’s the hot take from Paul Waldman over at the Washington Post, who says Attorney General Jeff Sessions could spark widespread pushback from industry, the public, and legalization-friendly politicians if he has federal prosecutors go after state-legal cannabis. And that pushback could help mobilize lawmakers at the state and federal level to do more to protect—and expand—legalization. Public support for legalization, Waldman writes, is only going up, and “politicians inevitably follow where the public has moved.”
Many in the cannabis industry still doubt the seriousness of Sessions’ intent to enforce federal law against state-legal cannabis operators, noting that a large majority of Americans believe cannabis is less dangerous than alcohol and should be made legal. And 71% want the feds to respect state cannabis laws. Waldman, however, seems to think it’s foolish to fall back on the view that Sessions will respect the will of the public:
On this issue, Sessions is not such a politician — he’s going to pursue that demon weed no matter what the public thinks. We all know where America is heading on this issue, and Sessions may end up pushing us there just a little faster.
1:49 p.m. — If there’s one baseball card that best captures the spirit of 4/20, it’s the infamous Bong–Puffer card. Vice Sports dubs it “history’s chillest baseball card.” Kick off those cleats, put your feet up, and enjoy the read.
1:22 p.m. — Groups including Minnesota NORML, Minnesota Marijuana, and Legal Marijuana Now held a rally outside the state Capitol in St. Paul today, where state Rep. Jon Applebaum (D-Minnetonka) spoke in favor of his bill to legalize cannabis sale, use, and possession by adults. “When I introduced this bill, I made it clear that this was about starting a conversation,” he said in a statement. “It quickly became obvious, by the overwhelming support I immediately received from across the state, that the citizens of Minnesota were hungry for this to happen.”
12:42 p.m. — Wondering what a doctor thinks about cannabis? Re-read this Scientific American article written by Nathaniel P. Morris, a resident physician in psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
We don’t see cannabis overdoses. We don’t order scans for cannabis-related brain abscesses. We don’t treat cannabis-induced heart attacks. In medicine, marijuana use is often seen on par with tobacco or caffeine consumption—something we counsel patients about stopping or limiting, but nothing urgent to treat or immediately life-threatening.
He goes on to criticize the federal government’s stance on cannabis, which has only gotten worse since the election of President Donald Trump.
The federal government’s scheduling of marijuana bears little relationship to actual patient care. The notion that marijuana is more dangerous or prone to abuse than alcohol (not scheduled), cocaine (Schedule II), methamphetamine (Schedule II), or prescription opioids (Schedules II, III, and IV) doesn’t reflect what we see in clinical medicine.
12:31 p.m. — Police began making arrests shortly after noon in DC, as legalization advocates from DCMJ were handing out 1,227 joints in the capital. Gifting small amounts of cannabis is legal under local law, but it remains illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act.
12:19 p.m. — Thousands of cannabis celebrants descended on Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square today to celebrate 4/20—as well as the country’s recently introduced legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis nationwide. The rally includes vendors, food booths, and at least some open consumption of cannabis. Congratulations, Canada, and happy 4/20!
11:51 a.m. — For those of you just waking up in California, how’d you manage to get the day off? Also: What are you up to today? The Los Angeles Times reports on a few happenings—a screening of Half Baked at the Wiltern in LA and a smoke-out at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park called “4/20 at Hippie Hill.” (If you’re going to the latter event, pick up your damn trash! Officials say past events have resulted in more than 11 tons of garbage at the site.)
Frankly, though, for being headquartered in what might very well be America’s cannabis capital, the LA Times has some pretty slim pickings. For more events in California today—including Leafly comedy shows in LA and the Bay Area—cruise on over to the Leafly Events page.
11:31 a.m. — Can’t say we blame you. 4/20 has seen some pretty amazing developments over the years, though. For example, did you know that Harriet Tubman began the Undeground Railroad on April, 20, 1853? Obviously 4/20 didn’t mean much at the time, but damned if that’s not something worth celebrating.
Read more good news from 4/20s throughout history:
Worth noting, for Tubman’s sake: Black people are still disproportionately—like, shockingly disproportionately—impacted by drug laws. Just look at this chart out of New York. And the legal cannabis industry is still having trouble welcoming people of color into the fold.
100 Ways to Get High
11:24 a.m. — A leek. A block of cheese. A space helmet. Legos. Those are among the 100 ways a woman gets high in this oh-so-4/20 video.
(Leafly editor Brett Konen points out this is really only 99 ways. “One is a topical. That won’t get you high.”)
Denver Cops Lead by Example
11:06 a.m. — We see you, Denver PD. The force tweeted this earlier today:
Thanks for promoting responsible consumption and recognizing that there aren’t actually very many legal places to light up—even in legal states like Colorado. Especially now that cannabis clubs won’t be a thing.
10:56 a.m. — Take a second this 4/20 to do something productive—namely, tell lawmakers in Washington, DC, to end federal prohibition by supporting HR1227, which would decriminalize cannabis possession and cultivation. The folks at NORML have an easy form to fill out and send directly to your officials. This kind of participation is always important, but it’s especially crucial now, as the Trump administration weighs cracking down on state-legal cannabis programs.
10:51 a.m. — We can’t imagine why you would, but just in case… a San Jose dispensary is offering a cannabis-flavored donut that won’t get you high.
10:45 a.m. — We interrupt this news to bring you a photo of something we really want to eat rn.
This taco pizza weighs 30 pounds and costs $80, but gawking at it is free. (When’s lunch?)
Arrests Continue in DC
10:37 a.m. — At least legalization advocates participating in activist group DCMJ’s joint giveaway have now been arrested, according to US News reporter Steven Nelson. Leafly News is following the developments and will publish a full story as fast as our fingers can type.
10:28 a.m. — One of legalization’s biggest proponents in Congress, US Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is currently doing a Reddit AmA (Ask Me Anything). Go pick his brain, then read Leafly’s interview with him here. Blumenauer is one of the founding members of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, working to change federal marijuana laws.
HuffPo Publishes List of Cannabis Overdose Deaths
10:12 a.m. — We’ll save you a click: It’s the gimmick you’re expecting. Exactly nobody has died of a cannabis overdose. If that’s news to you, read the story. If it’s not, enjoy the best part of the article—this GIF:
Still, pace yourself today. Nobody’s died of a cannabis overdose, but plenty of people have eaten too many edibles and thought they might die.
10:04 a.m. — Folks at T-Mobile are taking aim at Verizon, we think, and then referencing cannabis. (Seriously, what is happening on this page?) Behold “viral marketing,” everyone. Memes + stereotypes = profit?
Two Legalization Activists Arrested in DC
9:45 a.m. — Two cannabis advocates parading with Washington, DC-based activist group DCMJ were arrested shortly after noon local time, as they were giving out free joints to celebrate 4/20. (As DCist explains: “D.C. law allows people to legally give away up to an ounce of marijuana, so long as they are over 21.”)
According to subsequent tweets, the two people “were arrested for incommoding (blocking the sidewalk) but we’re not 100% sure.” The group later tweeted that it was actually members of the media, not DCMJ, who were blocking the sidewalks.
Trends Toward Legalization
9:41 a.m. — A few good tidbits on the politics front this morning. A new CBS poll finds support for cannabis legalization at an all-time high. A full 61% of Americans think cannabis should be legal—a five-point jump from the year before and the greatest percentage since the poll began. Think that’s impressive? A whopping 88% of Americans support medical marijuana. And 71% oppose the federal government’s efforts to stop cannabis sales in states that have legalized it.
The other good tidbit: Nationwide medical marijuana laws would save lives—and about a billion taxpayer dollars, according to a new study. Read Chris Ingraham’s piece over at the Washington Post.
Colorado: Find a 420 Sign, Get Free Money
9:27 a.m. — Just about anyone can get $4.20 off a Lyft ride today with the code SAFE420 (thanks, MADD!). But Colorado transportation officials are offering an even bigger prize. The Colorado Department of Transportation has hidden 420 road signs at some of the big 4/20 events around the state. If you find one, CDOT says, you’ll get $42 worth of Lyft credit. The program is designed, of course, to help everyone get home safe.
Fun fact: There aren’t any actual 420 mile marker signs left in Colorado, CBS reports. Why? Officials stopped replacing the sign on Interstate 70 because after it kept being stolen.
You’ll hear more about this in the coming days: Nature, one of the world’s most highly respected scientific journals, just published a study (yes, on 4/19) that confirms what medical marijuana patients and medical researchers have been saying–no, shouting–for years: The NIDA-grown “research grade” cannabis grown at the University of Mississippi is utter trash. So bad it’s not fit for research. “Federally Produced Cannabis Does Not Reflect Legal Markets” says the headline. Will it change anything? We’ll see.
8:55 a.m. — It’s almost noon on the East Coast, which means the folks at DCMJ should be just about ready to start their 4/20 joint giveaway in Washington DC. Adam Eidinger & Co. are planning to gift 1,227 doobies in honor of HR 1227, the recently introduced bill that would end federal prohibition. As DCist explains: “D.C. law allows people to legally give away up to an ounce of marijuana, so long as they are over 21. That’s why DCMJ is posting up on 1st Street NE and Constitution Avenue NE, which is District rather than federal land.”
Choose a Sativa Next Time, Dude
Is it just us or has the person running the Twitter feed for the Las Cruces, New Mexico, police department been celebrating 4/20 early? The PD put out this tweet yesterday.
Police Want 420 Fest Patrons to be Aware of Laws
Patrons attending this week’s 420 Festival in Las Cruces should… https://t.co/u6gsNXGMIq
…should…should what?! Did you actually fall asleep in the middle of that tweet? It sure looks like you did, because the Facebook link you provided brings up one of these:
Seriously, Las Cruces PD, get it together.
BTW, the 1st Annual NM 420 Education Music and Arts Festival is happening today and tomorrow at Young Park, 1905 Nevada Ave, Las Cruces. Stop by on April 20th and 21st, the event runs from 4:20pm to 10:00pm each day.
Women Own It, Run It
When you get a chance today, check out this great feature posted last night by Inc. magazine senior editor Maria Aspan, timed for the 4/20 media onslaught.
Holiday Wishes From Roger Stone
The master of the political dark arts sent out this message at 6:12 this morning.
Where did Russ Belville, America’s hardest traveling cannabis advocate, end up on this 4/20? In Atlanta, where we hope he’s got a backstage pass for the 3-day Sweetwater 420 Fest (which doesn’t actually start until 4/21).
We gotta admire the audacious spirit of the folks at Denver’s Declaration Brewing. In honor of 4/20, they created the 420 Freedom Pack, the world’s largest single-packaged case of beer. Or rather, 17-1/2 cases of beer. That’s right, the box contains 420 cans of Declaration beer. Which is kind of cool. But also really, really heavy. (The brewery suggests gathering a crew of four burly hoisters to carry it.) And kind of missing the point. Which is to celebrate cannabis, not alcohol. But then again, 4/20 does bring about a mighty thirst. So we’re not complaining–as long as you and three of your friends show up with the Freedom Pack.
Meanwhile, in Alabama
Another hopeful sign: On the eve of 4/20, AL.com, home of the Birmingham News, published this piece that essentially told Attorney General Jeff Sessions to give it a rest, already. More than half the nation has passed, and overwhelmingly supports, medical cannabis legalization. West Virginia just became the 29th state to legalize. West Virginia–which voted for Trump by nearly 42 points in November!
Denver Cops Are Ready…to Bust a Move
It’s not even 8am in the Mile High City, and the Denver Police Department just posted this.
6:38am – We just found the day’s best conversation starter: Name your top five stoner albums. Rolling Stone just resurfaced a tasty feature from 2013, “The 40 Greatest Stoner Albums.” Dr. Dre: Check. Pink Floyd: Check. Portishead: Wait, what?
When Will the Federal Madness End, Earl?
Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenaeur, leader of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, will be celebrating 4/20 by fighting to end federal prohibition. And he’ll take time out to answer your questions. Tune in to his Reddit AMA later today at 1pm Eastern, at reddit.com/r/trees/.
Many of us celebrate 4/20. Snoop Dogg celebrates 4/20 Eve.
Wake ‘n’ Bake, Toronto
5:59 a.m. – Good morning Toronto! You’ve got three hours to get to Yonge-Dundas Square for the start of 420 Toronto. On your way, enjoy this profile of festival organizer and longtime activist Chris Goodwin, posted this morning by Leafly contributor Randi Druzin. Did you know he got his start by selling candles?
5:52 a.m. – It’s still early in the United States, but events are well underway in London, where thousands are gathering for the annual Hyde Park cannabis rally. That makes the Metropolitan Police a bit uncomfortable, and they’re warning enthusiasts to temper their enthusiasm. And here, courtesy of the Evening Standard, is our first favorite headline of the “420 day”:
It’s a New Day in West Virginia
5:45 a.m. – As morning breaks on 4/20, West Virginia enjoys its first full day as America’s 29th legal medical marijuana state. Yesterday, Gov. Jim Justice signed SB 386 into law, legalizing the use of cannabis (but not cannabis leaf) as medicine. It may be a while before the two million residents of the Mountaineer State enjoy the full benefits of the law–MMJ cards aren’t expected to be issued by the Bureau of Public Health until July 1, 2019–but today’s a day of celebration. Welcome to 420, West Virginians!