Friends celebrating four-twenty

Celebrating the 51st Anniversary of 4/20 in A Post-Pandemic 2022

Those who smoke marijuana know that April 20th is a holiday, even if it isn’t recognized on an official calendar. It’s a day set aside each year to appreciate the many gifts that cannabis brings into the world. Hemp, for example, is a strong fiber that can be used to make clothing and used as a biofuel.THC contained within the plant is a medicine used for pain, anxiety, and other physical ailments. It’s a day of celebration and freedom.

As we get closer to April 20, 2022, we find that we are at a precipice. The pandemic that has dampened our celebrations over the past couple of years seems to be almost at an end, but we aren’t yet there. Much like every other holiday over the past two years, we have had to adapt our celebratory routines to the social restrictions caused by the virus. The 4/20 holiday hasn’t been any different.

So, why is April 20th, or 4/20, the official holiday for cannabis users all around the U.S., and how do we celebrate the day safely with our friends and family?

4/20: The Origin Story

There are so many stories about the number 420 and its relationship to cannabis. Does it refer to the police code? Does it have anything to do with Adolf Hitler’s birthday? Are there 420 different natural chemicals within the flower? Is there a numerological conspiracy? The short answer to all of these questions is: No. 

The meaning of 420 has a much more human, and humane, touch.

It all began in 1971, at San Rafael High School in Marin County, CA. A group of high school friends would meet almost every day after school to smoke cannabis at around 4:20 in the afternoon, just after school ended, and any other extracurricular activities were done for the day. After smoking, they would plan and execute their daily shenanigans, before going home.

These were average kids whose interests and futures lay outside this particular school setting. They weren’t jocks or cheerleaders. They weren’t stars. They were just like you and me. But their simple actions that they thought nothing of ended up changing the social fabric of the country.

This special bonding time between friends became such a routine that the original members of the 420 group handed their traditions down to younger generations, who would 420, just as their brothers and sisters had done before them. Each member of the group brings in a friend, sibling, or acquaintance that furthers the basic message. In other words, the routine spreads.

As it turned out, one of the original creators of 4:20 at San Rafael had a little brother who became part of the routine as he reached high school. This boy went on to roadie for the Grateful Dead after high school and through him, the band adopted the number as an inside joke and a Grateful Dead-official reference to smoking pot. As soon as 420 hit the Grateful Dead, it was introduced to the world.

Deadhead Shenanigans

Fans of the Grateful Dead are famously called Deadheads and their interactions with the band lead to the spread of 420 as a noun and a verb for smoking marijuana. Deadheads are known for their dedication, not just to the band, but to the lifestyle espoused in the music, and it is due to their shenanigans that we are now aware of this special day. 

On December 28, 1990, known Deadheads publicly handed out a flyer asking everyone to come and smoke with them at a certain place on April 20th, at 4:20 in the afternoon. Their ultimate goal was to have everyone in the world smoking marijuana at the same time, on the same day, each year. It’s an idealistic and ornery way to unite the world.

While people in the know everywhere celebrated the day, the average person was unaware of it happening and could not appreciate what it stood for. Once Rolling Stone Magazine got ahold of the flyer a year later and published it in attachment to a story, the idea of the holiday was permanently established in the whole of society.  

So, April 20th doesn’t have an official title, other than 4/20, and our state and federal governments don’t recognize the day as anything special. But it is special. The idea of it arose from your average everyday kids, who showed, and shared, their appreciation for friendship, freedom, and tradition, every single day. 

Whether we agree with their methods or not, the kids’ message was sound and marijuana is here, and it is celebrated on April 20th of each year. Of course, there are always those overachievers who celebrate every single day at 4:20 p.m. AND 4:20 a.m., but the actual date has become the tradition in our culture.

Traditional 4/20 Celebrations

Traditional celebrations on April 20th simply depend on where you live. Smaller towns and villages might have nothing going on but small gatherings of friends while mid-size to larger-sized cities have large festivals, where people gather together, listen to music, sell culturally related items, and simply spend time together

Thousands of seniors in high schools all over the nation choose April 20th as their traditional Senior Skip Day, which is considered in many areas, of course, a rite of passage. Even though many of these students have nothing to do with marijuana, it’s funny to them and irritating to their teachers, which makes it worth the trouble. They just want to be a part of something.

Many people have become upset in recent years at the commercialization of the day, with representatives showing up at gatherings with expensive booths and free giveaways that draw crowds away from smaller vendors. Of course, these same representatives argue that they are simply helping to spread the word. No matter what side of the coin you fall on, the most important message is still shared: Let’s all get together, on this one day every year, to get high and promote brotherhood/sisterhood/personhood and peace.

Unfortunately, the devastation and lingering damage caused by the coronavirus has interrupted that message. It has forced us to change the routine once set in motion by normal, everyday kids so many years ago. The way that we choose to celebrate 4/20 has changed out of necessity, just as every holiday and how we spend it has changed.

So, how do we celebrate 4/20 this year, when we are so close to total social freedom and yet so far away?

Celebrating 4/20 In An Almost Post-Pandemic World

Our world is opening back up, but for many of us with medical issues, that doesn’t mean we can run out to a festival filled with people who may or may not be wearing masks and who may or may not have been vaccinated. We are in a precarious place. We can see the end, but we aren’t there yet.

This year, it is still important to stay away from large groups, but we can still have a great time celebrating marijuana and our ability to use it, medicinally, of course. Smaller celebrations in the open air, or larger ones online, have come the closest to meeting our needs while upholding the reason for the season.

4/20/22 Celebration Ideas

Celebrating 4/20 in 2022 is still going to be different than in any year before. Pre-pandemic, we had many years of festivals, happenings, and peaceful protests. During the height of COVID panic, with everything shut down, our options were limited to virtual experiences only. Now the world is opening up to us again, but we still have to live under certain minimal restrictions, for our own safety and that of others.

Movie/TV Show Marathon

Gathering friends and family together to watch television has been an American pastime since the invention of TV. Do you enjoy watching movies with your friends and family? A great movie or television show encourages conversation and bonding over themes and ideas. Much like binging Christmas movies long before the day, movies and shows about marijuana can be binged near or on 4/20.

Of course, there are many movies and television shows that extol the various qualities of marijuana, including the following:

  • Pineapple Express
  • Reefer Madness
  • Dazed and Confused
  • The Big Lebowski
  • The Friday Trilogy
  • Up In Smoke
  • Shaun of the Dead
  • Spaced
  • That 70s Show
  • Weeds

This list is neither exhaustible, nor is it ideal for everyone, but it encourages the gathering of a group of people in a memorable bonding experience. In fact, watching one of these movies together as a group after a meal or near the end of a private gathering may just be the perfect end to your holiday experience.

Potluck And Games

Gathering a group of friends and family members to celebrate 4/20 is more of an option this year. A barbecue or potluck lunch bookended by games and party favors is an excellent way to celebrate the day and show respect for the virtues highlighted by the day: a person’s willingness to share what they have with others and the relationships built through such bonding.

Have everyone bring their favorite marijuana infused dish, dessert, or drink and set up a few outdoor games and eating areas. Create a stoner mixtape complete with Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Sublime, and, of course, Snoop Dog, to entertain your guests. Keep any use of marijuana on the property so that you don’t scare the neighbors and make sure that there are no pointy objects involved in the games, just in case.

Virtual Entertainment

Many 4/20 celebrations are done online with two goals: to decrease transmission of the virus and to bring you together with like-minded people as you would have been at a festival. Both individual and promotional groups have been creating virtual experiences, such as concerts or special podcasts, that you can enjoy on 4/20.

In past years, viewers have enjoyed live virtual concerts by a variety of artists, such as Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa Etheridge, and, of course, Snoop Dog. Podcasts dedicated to the subject always celebrate the day by discussing special subjects with amazing guests. These activities allow you to join hundreds of thousands of people, at least, as you all witness such a unique addition to the cultural zeitgeist of our time.

Try Something New

Taking the time to try something new is never a waste of time, and it is always a learning opportunity. 4/20/22 is a great day to try out a new THC-infused recipe or a different type of product that you have never used before.

Recipes

So, what are you in the mood for? Infused Fettuccine Alfredo, a decadent chocolate cake, or goat cheese lamb chops with THC are all within your wheelhouse when the same old dinner isn’t good enough for April 20th. Any new recipe that you learn can be taken to a 4/20 potluck and shared with loved ones. You may want to keep the chocolate/THC-covered strawberries to yourself (they are that good!).

Product and Apparatus

Do you smoke flower or eat gummies? 4/20 is a great day to try out something brand new, something you have never done before. Have you eaten the famous pot brownies that everyone talks about?

Many people are familiar with the properties of sleepy indica and energetic sativa, but have you tried a blend? What about vaping or dabbing? April 20th is a great day to learn how to roll a joint or try out a bong if you haven’t done so before. 

While there are noted counteractive differences between indica and sativa, the way that you take the medication can also change the way it acts in your body. The feeling you get from smoking a joint is much different from the feeling you get from a gummy, for example, and one may work better with pain than the other, even if they are both the same strain of bud.

No matter what, April 20th is a great day set aside for anyone and everyone to learn something new about the medicinal benefits of marijuana and explore their options further.

Stay Safe Out There

Remember, if you have friends over to celebrate the holiday, keep the lawn darts put up, don’t share your smoking apparatus, and make sure to relax. For ultimate safety and convenience, have your cannabis delivered to you at home. 

Contact us to see if you qualify for your Medical Marijuana  Certification in Florida. Our expert medical marijuana doctors will help you acquire your Florida medical marijuana card without hassle!