Stoner Christmas came and went yesterday, with the presents gone as fast as they were opened.
Millions of cannabis fans in the US, and millions more worldwide, packed bowls, laughed at comedy shows, live-streamed a concert or two, or just watched a movie for the unofficial stoner holiday of 420.
Weed sessions started before dawn in the East Coast time zones and went on after dark in the West. While most celebrated at home, a few scattered public events helped make the second pandemic 420 memorable.
The stoner code for “time to get high” 420 began 50 years ago this year, slowly morphing over the decades from an underground signal to a cultural rallying cry for cannabis liberation.
Folks sparked up joints, pipes, bongs, bubblers, and bit edibles or hit vape pens at precisely 4:20 pm in each time zone. (And, let’s face it, they smoked plenty before, and after.)
The morning of 420
East Coasters started celebrating at 4:20 am, or 1:20 am PST, and legal stores opened after dawn. Maine enjoyed its first legal sales of 420 ever.
On the West Coast, stores opened at 8 am and blasted through their early bird customers but stayed brisk all day long.
Hippie Hill, the famed Golden Gate Park gathering place for decades of 420, remained closed this year.
Take a look at the tall fences put up around Hippie Hill at Golden Gate Park in #SanFrancisco. The city hopes people celebrate at home safely instead of gathering in groups. Virtual events: https://t.co/lWEIHWgISC#four20 #420day pic.twitter.com/UuRwVdFGue— Sara Stinson (@SaraStinsonNews) April 20, 2021
One of America’s oldest dispensaries, The Vapor Room, blew our minds with some uncanny numerology.
The 420 munchies fly
Each year brings more robust culinary offerings for our baked brethren.
This year, fine dining outlet Jack in the Box put forth the Chick-N-Tater Melt Munchie Meal. Meanwhile, Fatburger had $4.20 burgers (down from $8). And Shake Shack did a collab with delivery service Postmates and rapper Action Bronson.
420 fell on Taco Tuesday this year, a win for all humankind.
A pop culture parade
Actors, musicians, models, and brands love a good 420.
Comedian Chelsea Handler kept it tame, all things considered.
Alicia Silverstone gave us a Clueless flashback.
And many fabulous celebs wished the world a happy 420, including Kerry Washington, GZA, El-P, Killer Mike, and Lauren Jauregui.
Happy #420 💨 pic.twitter.com/6cchagVa0i— GZA (@TheRealGZA) April 20, 2021
#Happy420 it is my Born Day and I am truly blessed. Thank all y’all who show love. I am always overwhelmed, humbled and appreciative!— Killer Mike (@KillerMike) April 20, 2021
Potent Comedy Central classic Workaholics dropped a supercut of herbal memories.
Rotten Tomatoes flashed back to a Mr. Lebowski moment.
420 is a day to floss your gear—your best floral print, a crispy cap, or a clean bong. Comedian and “adult woman who is worthy of respect” Dana Donnelly looked amazing doing it.
happy 420 from my family to yours 💖 pic.twitter.com/FsfS6iEyTs— Dana Donnelly (@danadonly) April 20, 2021
Social media influencer Coral Reefer did solar bowls meets gravity bong hits.
True hippies Nikki and Swami from Swami Select wished everyone a happy 4/20 from their farm up in the Emerald Triangle.
Stunting for the plant
No 420 is complete without publicity stunts. (I mean, Leafly gave away a year’s worth of weed.)
Similarly, New Yorkers did a joints for jabs vaccine drive.
And Heath Scott of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, rolled a 150-foot-long hemp joint.
Of course, Snoop released a new album. It’s called From Tha Streets 2 Tha Suites, featuring Devin The Dude, Kokane, Goldie Loc, Big Tray Deee, Mozzy, Larry June, Prohoezak, and J Black.
Actor Jaleel White got back in the Steve Urkel costume and took some weed photos with Snoop Dog to tout Its PurpL, the new weed brand from 710 Labs.
And over on rap battle station Verzuz, Method Man and Redman reprised Method & Red with guests EPMD, Inspectah Deck, and K-solo. Snoop approves.
2021 includes a weird cyberpunk dystopia, so:
- Rapper B-Real sold digital collectibles for $420. Yes, the dreaded non-fungible token or NFT.
- Stoner-aligned digital currency Dogecoin hit $0.420; up 400% in a week.
- And TikTokkers claimed their share of 420 laughs.
Calls to let weed freedom ring
420 arrives amid a fever pitch in the air countrywide for marijuana law reform. The SAFE Banking act passed the House again this week. The Senate revisits the MORE Act.
The freaking leader of the United States Senate tweeted, “Happy 420.”
And Texas lawmaker James Talarico introduced a legalization bill in the conservative state.
After New York, Virginia, and New Mexico legalized this year, Leafly CEO Yoko Miyashita spoke in support of Pennsylvania legalization to increase social justice and public safety.
Forbes writer Will Yakowicz posited this as the last illegal 420 in the US.
Meanwhile, New Jersey protestors sought home grow liberties in the newly legal Garden State.
In the afternoon, many Twitter users expressed happiness when jurors in Minnesota convicted the police officer who murdered George Floyd. Observers noted that the jury convicted the disgraced officer (aka put him away, or “smoked him”) on 420, and cherished the timing.
A cop going to jail on 420.— Brian (@wobbledropkila) April 20, 2021
Others noted that the weed-to-prison pipeline is still flowing in America. Marijuana arrests are the number one most common drug arrest, and drug arrests are the most common type of arrests police make.
The clock strikes 4:20 pm
When the clock started hitting 4:20 pm, things quickly got hazy.
The 420 Even Higher Together Livestream included Too $hort (who has some new herb coming out) chatting with Ms. Pat.
Musician Jhene Aiko kept the vibes so chill on the West Coast just minutes before 4:20.
And over in San Francisco at the dual, live, and pay per view comedy review Couch Locked by Cookies, THC permeated the air, the crowd, and several early performers. The Bay Area weed had performers trippin’.
“What the fuck do ya’ll smoke in the Bay?” wondered Los Angeles comedian Teddy Ray.
Headliner Bob Saget worked with the frozen crowd. It wasn’t apathy, he noted, but bliss.
“You’re stoned as shit and it’s nice,” he said. “This is the worst way to do comedy but the best.”
“There is so much fucking pot in my face right now, holy shit, you guys fart edibles.”
Insult comedian Jeff Ross truly solved the riddle of a mega-stoned crowd, mixing simple musical comedy and rapid-fire roasting of audience members.
And just like a joint, it was gone.
April 20th may already be a hazy memory, but the cannabis liberation movement it symbolizes marches on.
See you next year, when we can all hopefully sesh together again.