Stoners from across Southern California gathered at the Santa Monica Pier this past Saturday for the first stop of the the 420 Games, a tour dedicated to de-stigmatizing the pothead stigma. Starting off the day with a 4.20 mile run from Santa Monica to the Venice Pier and back, the mini-marathon was full of spirited cannabis users—some on skateboards, a few on green scooters and others rocking green face-paint—determined to prove that you can live a healthy, active life-style while regularly smoking weed.
Prior to the jog from Santa Monica to Venice, Steve DeAngelo, cannabis thought leader and owner of Harborside Health Center—a dispensary that has been hailed as a national prototype— kicked off the celebrations with a keynote address. After thanking everyone for coming out, he explained that by participating in events like the 420 Games, we are moving closer to a more unified and realistic understanding of marijuana. The crowd ate it up as cheers and hi-fives were shared in the name of legalization. Live music, food trucks, a Lagunitas beer booth, Eaze and other cannabis vendors set up shop by the pier, and as soon as the runners arrived back in Santa Monica, the real festivities began. People were spotted walking around with massive, green piñatas on their shoulders, wearing leaf-covered hats and long, multi-colored dreadlocks. The Lagunitas beer tasting table was, by far, the biggest hit of the afternoon, even though their offerings were fully of the hops variety.
As the party at the pier came to an end, folks migrated over to the V Lounge in Santa Monica, where Pato Banton brought the reggae vibes and The Kyle Turley Band chipped in with some alt-rock spirit. Known for their specialty cocktails and appetizer-sized bites, the V Lounge made sure everyone was good and tossed. When looking around, everyone appeared a bit pie-eyed with a drink(s) in hand—signs of a successful event.
The 420 Games have a San Francisco edition in August, as well as stops in Colorado, Seattle and Oregon. Just like the Santa Monica rendition, those events will also feature marathons, mountain bike races (for Colorado and Oregon), and other competitions in support of de-stigmatizing marijuana and celebrating its empowering properties. More information on the 420 games can be found here. See you next year!