Shop legal, local weed.


8 ideas for celebrating 4/20 where cannabis is illegal

Published on April 16, 2020 · Last updated April 1, 2021

This article was originally published on April 17, 2019. It was updated April 16, 2020.

The chillest of holidays, 4/20, is nearly upon us. Since 4/20 comes in the year 2020, we’re getting an entire month to celebrate, albeit mostly indoors.

And there’s definitely a lot to celebrate. Illinois and Michigan have adult-use legalization. State regulators have deemed legal cannabis essential amid the coronavirus crisis. On top of that, hemp is now federally legal in the US for the first time since 1937. But cannabis still isn’t completely legal in most US states, which means the majority of Americans aren’t free to light up quite yet.

Luckily, there are plenty of fun ways to celebrate 4/20 while battling prohibition. Whether you’re in the mood to enjoy a solo sesh or you feel like throwing a 4/20-themed party for your friends, living in a prohibition state doesn’t have to ruin your fun. Here’s how to celebrate no matter where you live.

1. Plan the ultimate 420 vacation for 2021

View this post on Instagram

Your heads. These beds. That view. Yes please.

A post shared by Jupiter Hotel (@jupiterhotel) on

For 2020, we suggest planning your ultimate 4/20 vacation for 2021—the 50th anniversary of 4/20. With COVID-19 canceling this year’s plans, all of a sudden that bucket list really comes into focus.

Look into booking a stay at a cannabis-friendly hotel. Whether you feel like spending the holiday in a treehouse, a penthouse, or a farmhouse, Airbnb features a wide variety of 420-friendly lodging in legal states. And if your budget allows, pro-cannabis boutique hotels, luxury lofts, and private cottages are popping up all over the world, from Ibiza to Denver to Negril.

2. Stock up on your favorite CBD products

Sure, it won’t get you high, but consuming high-quality CBD products can be a super fun and relaxing way to enjoy 4/20. Hemp-derived CBD is a relatively low-risk way to get your chill on. (That said, it should be noted that CBD shipments are still being confiscated in certain states, like Idaho and Tennessee.)

Whether you feel like vaping, dabbing, or pairing your favorite pizza with a CBD-infused soda, dozens of companies will ship CBD products straight to your door.

3. Write a letter to your state representative

Advocating for legalization in your state is one heck of a badass way to celebrate 4/20, and writing a letter to your state representative is fairly simple. If you’re not sure who your state representative is, you can figure that out here. After that, you should be able to find an email address and/or a physical mailing address on your representative’s website. (And if you’ve never written a letter to your representative before, here’s a handy example.)

Shop highly rated stores near you

Showing you stores near
See all stores

4. Cook your way through The Vegan Stoner Cookbook

Even if you aren’t vegan or vegetarian, trust that The Vegan Stoner Cookbookis an essential item for any cannabis lover’s kitchen. From biscuits and gravy to stuffed cannelloni to churro chips, the cookbook includes dozens of comfort food recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and any other time you might find yourself dealing with the munchies. Plus, each page contains adorable doodles of fruits and veggies getting lifted.

Enlighten oneself with more cannabis knowledge. Read Leafly gardening writer Johanna Silver’s Growing Pot in the Garden; explore history with Isaac Campos’ Homegrown: The origins of Mexico’s war on marijuana; or just geek out on bud photos with GREEN. After you learn stuff, re-watch Up in Smoke and stream Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, newly available on streaming services 4/20/20.

5. Donate to a cannabis charity

If it’s financially possible for you, donating to a cannabis charity can be a great way to celebrate the holiday. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Parents for Pot provides support to parents and kids who have been affected by anti-cannabis legislation, and they also conduct an annual holiday drive where they try to fulfill the holiday wish lists of kids whose parents are incarcerated for cannabis.
  • Bloom Farms fights food insecurity by donating a meal to someone in need with every purchase. The California-based cannabis company ships CBD products nationwide and has donated over a million meals to food-insecure individuals since 2015.
  • Weed for Good provides free medical cannabis and education to low-income patients who are suffering from chronic and terminal illnesses.
  • Cheers To Goodness helps families with critically ill kids gain access to the medicine they need. When necessary, they also offer monthly assistance to help families cover the cost of medical and relocation expenses.
  • Tokeativity donates to a variety of non-profits that seek to empower women, like ChickTech.org, Planned Parenthood, Warrior Sisters, Women of Wisdom, and Mothers Advocating for Medical Marijuana. The women-centric group also offers online cannabis-themed classes and hosts cannabis events nationwide.

6. Send books to cannabis prisoners

Making a positive difference in someone’s life feels good, and donating books to cannabis prisoners is a kind way to celebrate 4/20. Prisons in the United States are packed with people jailed for cannabis (many of whom are parents), and while the trauma of incarceration can’t be assuaged with books alone, reading is certainly a healthy way to escape. It’s also a great way to reduce boredom, anxiety, and depressive symptoms.

If you know an inmate’s name and ID number, you can order books from Amazon and have them shipped directly to a prison. A few more things you should know if you’re planning to send the books yourself:

  • Books have to be new. Used books will be sent back
  • Books have to be shipped from a major bookstore, such as Amazon.
  • Books should contain zero nudity.
  • Books should not contain any inflammatory material.
  • Hardback books are often returned, so stick with paperbacks.
  • Books must be sent via USPS.
  • Books should be addressed to the inmate, and their inmate ID number should be clearly printed.
  • You can ship only one package per month, and only 10 books at a time.

You can also donate the books you don’t use anymore to Books Through Bars, a Philadelphia-based non-profit that seeks to reverse the devastating effects that injustice and incarceration can have on individuals, families, and communities.

The Women’s Prison Book Project (WBP) will happily accept and distribute your used books as well. According to WBP, their most requested book topics include drug and alcohol recovery, mystery/horror novels, dictionaries, queer fiction and non-fiction, contemporary fiction in Spanish, books by authors of color, health books, books on arts and crafts, and books that tackle abuse issues. Additionally, this article lists 11 frequently requested books in American prisons.

7. Color your way through The Stoner Babe’s Coloring Book

If 4/20 inspires your inner artist, you might want to spend the evening coloring your way through Katie Guinn’s intoxicating collection of racially diverse, line-drawn cannabis queens: The Stoner Babe’s Coloring Book.

Guinn’s gorgeous illustrations explore cannabis culture through the lens of over 60 intelligent, motivated, self-loving women and non-binary folks, all of whom are depicted consuming cannabis in their natural element, whether that’s daydreaming in an armchair or smoking a joint and playing the keyboard. (The back of each portrait features the babes’ thoughts on empowerment, too!)

And since the book’s pages are perforated, it’s easy to tear them out and share this $15 gem with your friends.

8. Host a 4/20 event online or livestream a rager

Living in a prohibition state shouldn’t keep you from throwing a private 4/20 party for you and your like-minded loved ones online, or join a livestream of the global festivities. Dress up from the waist up for a Zoom session. Go to Ganja Yoga on Instagram. There’s no wrong way to celebrate 4/20 when no one is watching. Here’s 75 stoner movies you can use for a watch party.

Shop highly rated stores near you

Showing you stores near
See all stores
Elizabeth Enochs
Elizabeth Enochs
Liz Enochs is a writer and journalist from a small town in Missouri that you've probably never heard of. In addition to Leafly, her work has been published by Bustle, Narratively, USA Today, HelloGiggles, POPSUGAR, and many others. More often than not, you'll find her in the woods.
View Elizabeth Enochs's articles
Get good reads, local deals, and strain spotlights delivered right to your inbox.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to Leafly's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.