CoaChill-Out: Our Handy Guide to a Safe Festival Weekend at Coachella

Photo by Christopher Victorio/illustration by Michael Ziobrowski

Cannabis and Coachella? No way, José!

For the second year in a row, Coachella has banned our favorite plant from entering the festival despite its current legal status in California. According to the Coachella website and its organizers, any individuals found to have cannabis in their possession while entering the festival will be denied entry. This means you should either get lit before entering the festival grounds or hide it in your underwear and try to look as angelic as possible.

As to enforcement, according to Benjamin Guitron, the Indio Police Department’s public information officer, “As the law currently permits the possession of cannabis, we will not be in attendance to ‘bust’ anyone who lights up during the festival. Our job is to look out for the safety of anyone attending Coachella.” But, he warns, “the sale of cannabis without a permit is still illegal in this state, and anyone caught doing so is subject to a citation as well as jail time.”

Bottom line: It seems that as long as you can get past security without alerting everyone of your stash, and if you aren’t doing anything illegal in front of a police officer, your festival experience should be as green as Kermit the Frog.

Last year, I attended Coachella for the first time after several years of partying at the Anthem House and Vestal Village, which is located a few miles from the campgrounds in nearby Lake Cahuilla. At these parties, attendees are almost encouraged to bring as many drugs as possible—a stark contrast to the actual festival’s hard anti-cannabis stance. After arriving at the festival entrance last year and witnessing the longest lines I’d ever seen, I realized I had plenty of time to prepare for what could happen while getting through security with a pocketful of jazz cabbage.

Two checkpoints with metal detectors and wands were the only thing separating me from my destination, and when the time came for me to step through the gates, I had already stowed half an ounce of California’s finest flowers in my bathing-suit area before allowing the guards to search my bag and pat me down. I don’t know why I constantly get extra treatment in situations such as these, but to be honest, it’s nice to be held by someone, even if it’s an angry, underpaid, overheated security guard for just a few seconds. After showing the proper wrist bands and blowing a kiss to my new boyfriend, I was ready to enjoy $9 water while standing in various lines.

Security seem to operate on a “don’t ask, don’t tell” level. So as long as you aren’t blatantly blowing O’s into a security guard’s face, or walking around trying to sell dime bags, the biggest risk you’ll face while attending the festivities stoned is eating too much from the various food trucks. Since you’ve decided to take the risk and bring the greens, here are some of our favorite products for surviving and flourishing under the harsh summer sun while Kanye rants about slavery being a choice.

Worried that actual flowers may be a dead giveaway? Then the ProTab from Level is perfect for flying under the radar. Each 25 milligram tablet dissolves under your tongue in seconds and has euphoric effects that last longer than it takes to find your friend who said they’d meet you by the Ferris wheel. Vegan, gluten-free and, most of all, extremely potent, ProTabs bring your festival experience up to another level. Available for same-day delivery to Orange County and Coachella Valley by visiting

After a full day of stomping through the harsh desert heat, you’re going to want to protect the largest organ in your body: your skin. Mediprana’s nano-enhanced gel is jam-packed with the cooling capabilities of aloe, along with 300 milligrams of CBD to help speed up your body’s healing process. Minor cuts and abrasions as well as irritation from prolonged exposure to UV rays are no match for this handy summertime product, while the additions of lavender and tea tree oil help to keep bugs and mosquitoes at bay. Available at Haven (formerly ShowGrow), 1625 E. St. Gertrude Place, Santa Ana, (949) 565-4769.

This CBD-rich sunblock is a great way to prevent overexposure and protect against heat exhaustion, especially if you happen to be as pale as me. This year, Coachella has banned most umbrellas and other objects that you would normally use to block the sun, so be prepared—or you’re going to have to adjust the color on all your photos so you don’t look like a burn victim. Available at Connected Cannabis Co., 2400 Pullman St., Ste. B, Santa Ana, (657) 229-4464.

Dehydration is no joke. The low desert can be a very unforgiving place, so be smart about staying hydrated. For festival-goers who want to add some fun to their beverage, Mood33, which comes in a variety of flavors and ratios, is the ticket to get lifted. If you don’t think you can finish the whole bottle before you reach the front gate, find someone from the Weekly, and we’ll gladly help you dispose of it properly. Available at Mr. Nice Guy OC, 730 E. Dyer Rd., Santa Ana, (714) 477-6892.

With the recent release of its highly anticipated stylus vape pen, you’d think Canndescent would take a break from constantly innovating its products. Each preloaded, disposable pen’s effects are clearly labeled and color-coded to provide you with the cleanest, longest-lasting high, and the sleek design helps to keep your session on the down-low. Heading into the festival early? Grab the aptly named Charge strain to keep the momentum going. And if you’re looking to knock out after a long day, then its Calm strain has just the right amount of couch-locking effects to have you snoring through even the loudest of after-parties. Just make sure you land near your campsite. Available at dispensaries throughout Orange County.

So there you have it, folks. Have fun and stay safe at Coachella and all this festival season. And if you find yourself paranoid about anything you’ve brought along to the party, there are amnesty boxes located at every entrance. Or you can send them my way. . . .

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