Celebrating 420 in 2023Written by Chris Weatherall on Apr 12, 2023
Are you ready for 420, 2023? Time to gather with friends, relax, and enjoy the many gifts bestowed upon us by the harvest of our favorite plant. Whether you and your friends are looking for some bud, searching for fun, safe, and wholesome things to do this 420, Kind Meds of Mesa, AZ, has you covered.
The term 420 is, at its simplest, a shorthand or slang reference to 4:20 PM (again, in the American style) or 4/20 on the calendar. However, its origins go a bit deeper. Its use in reference to cannabis has been around for decades now and was (probably) originally used by a group of high school students in California who would meet up at 4:20 in the afternoon to smoke cannabis.
Over time, 420 has become linked to the date as well as the time of day, and has, in turn, evolved into an unofficial international holiday for cannabis enthusiasts. Today, even many non-cannabis users appreciate the significance of the day and its more modern link to the ongoing fight to reverse the unjust legacy of cannabis prohibition in America. Let’s look at how you can celebrate 420 with fun activity ideas, local celebrations, and even learning a bit more about 420 history.
The History and Origins of 420
Before we get ahead of ourselves and light up in celebration, what exactly is 420? You already know the term “420” has become synonymous with cannabis culture, but the origins of the ubiquitous number are murky and often a topic of debate. Let’s dispel some of the myths.
One enduring theory is that “420” originated as the official police code for “smoking cannabis in progress.” Often, this theory goes hand-in-hand with a conspicuously unnamed police department. However, this theory has been investigated and debunked by many fact-checkers.
Another interesting but false theory is that there are 420 different chemical compounds in cannabis. This one is also easily disproved. Although researchers have identified hundreds of compounds in the plant, the number is now well over 550.
In fact, there are even more myths and legends surrounding this cannabis community institution, and none hold any weight. So, where did the term come from?
The Real Story of 420
According to Time Magazine’s Olivia B. Waxman, the most credible theory is that “420” dates to 1971, when a group of high school students in San Rafael, California, used it as a secret code word for smoking cannabis. The group, who called themselves “The Waldos,” would meet up at 4:20 PM to smoke and hang out. They chose that time for an obvious reason: it was after school but before their parents got home from work. And thus, the story goes, the code number 420 was born among teens, as any decent slang word is.
The term “420” then caught on among their extended circle of friends, who also started using it to refer to cannabis in public discreetly. From there, it became part of the wider cannabis culture. The odd tale of The Waldos has been corroborated by multiple sources at this point, including The New York Times and the cannabis authority High Times Magazine.
The particular significance or deeper meaning of April 20th (4/20) as a day of celebration for cannabis enthusiasts is less clear, and most likely, there simply isn’t one. Some will tell you it originated from a Grateful Dead concert in San Francisco in 1971, where someone handed out leaflets inviting people to “420” on April 20th. While that seems like it could be true, all signs point to the fact that the Waldos’ use of 420 to refer to cannabis came first, the phenomenon spread, and the association with April 20th naturally followed.
This doesn’t make the holiday meaningless, however. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. This means we can give 420 whatever deeper, personal meaning we choose, whether it’s through how we each choose to celebrate or the memories we make with our buds. 420 has unquestionably become a cultural phenomenon and a numerical celebration of all things cannabis. For that reason, April 20th is a day when cannabis enthusiasts come together to socialize, relax, and celebrate the many benefits of the plant.
Celebrating 420 2023 in Style
The potential ways to celebrate cannabis on 420 are limited only by your imagination, ambition, and budget. Just as your relationship with cannabis is deeply personal, your 420 activities should be tailored to the tastes of you and your friends.
Organize a Cannabis-Themed Picnic
One classic way to celebrate 420 is to organize a cannabis-themed picnic with your friends. Pack a basket of your favorite snacks and beverages, and don’t forget to bring some pre-rolls, a carefully packed glass piece, or a convenient vape pen. Or, include some edibles in your picnic goodies; just make sure they remain clearly labeled in their original packaging until you’re ready to take your dose so that there are no mix-ups, and be sure to inform everyone ahead of time about their cannabis content.
Find a beautiful spot in nature where you can enjoy fresh air, sunshine, and the calming effects of cannabis and where you won’t be disturbing non-users or creating trouble by indulging in cannabis. Whether you’re hiking all afternoon through the remote wilderness to reach your picnic spot or just plopping down on a roadside park bench to watch the sunset, make sure that the area you choose is legal and safe for consumption.
Attend a Cannabis-Infused Yoga Class
Another wonderful way to celebrate 420 in 2023 is to attend a cannabis-infused yoga class. Some Arizona yoga studios now offer classes where you can stretch and relax while enjoying the benefits of cannabis. You’ll be able to indulge in cannabis ahead of time, then deepen your connection to the practice of yoga, ease your mind, and connect with the process on a new level.
Partake in Arts and Crafts
If you’re feeling creative, you might consider hosting a cannabis-infused arts and crafts party with your friends. Think of those popular “paint and sip” events – except you’ll be smoking instead of (or in addition to) sipping. Set up painting or crafting stations, provide some cannabis-infused treats and pre-rolls (or, list the party as BYOC), get together a broad selection of beverages, and let your creativity flow. You’ll have a blast creating art with friends while enjoying the relaxing and inspiring effects of cannabis.
Attend a Music Festiva
If you’re a music lover, you might be able to attend a 420 2023 music festival or concert in your city. The longstanding link between cannabis and the music industry is not exactly a secret, and many artists now openly incorporate cannabis into their lyrics and stage shows. You’re always sure to have a great time listening to your favorite artists perform after enjoying your preferred cannabis products.
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Volunteer with a Cannabis Education Organization
Another way to celebrate 420 in 2023 is to volunteer in your community. There are many organizations that support cannabis legalization and education, and they could always use more help. You could also organize your own pro-cannabis group and begin projects like a clean-up effort in your local park or neighborhood to share the good news of cannabis along with some goodwill.
Cook with Cannabis
If you’re feeling adventurous, consider taking a cannabis-infused cooking class. You’ll learn how to make delicious cannabis-infused meals and snacks, and you’ll be able to impress your friends with your newfound culinary skills. If you already have some cannabis cooking skills, consider showing your friends in the cannabis community how they can get started.
Schedule Some Cannabis and Chill Time
Of course, not everyone wants to partake in the planning of activities or travel to a cannabis-themed event. If you prefer to stay in and keep things as chill as possible, consider hosting a 420 movie night with your friends. Choose some classic stoner comedies, documentaries about cannabis, all 10 hours of the extended cut of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, or something in between, and enjoy a night in with your favorite people and your favorite cannabis products. Make sure to have plenty of snacks, drinks, and cannabis options on hand to enhance the experience.
Host a Cannabis-Friendly Game Night
Another good stay-at-home option that can be combined with a movie night or dinner party is hosting a cannabis-friendly game night. You can play classic board games, card games, or video games while enjoying the effects of your favorite cannabis strains.
Or if you want to be just a little bit extra while staying cozy at home, you can host a custom, one-off, one-night-only tabletop role-playing campaign (e.g., Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder).
Take it to the next step by creating a funny, cannabis-themed adventure written just for your friends. Make sure to base your game on a simplified rules system, or just play it fast and loose with the D&D rules so you can get through your entire story in a satisfying way in one sitting.
Quick List: More 420 Activities & Ideas
The sky’s the limit, so reach for the clouds (vaping pun intended).
Here are a few more ideas for ways modern cannabis enthusiasts might choose to celebrate on 4/20/2023:
- Host a 420-themed fancy dinner party, complete with cannabis-infused dishes and drinks..
- Organize your own small cannabis-friendly concert with local artists and raise money for a local cause or pro-cannabis political organization.
- Plan a 420-themed camping trip.
- Organize a higher energy take on 420 game night: laser tag, mini golf, paintball, etc.
- Visit a cannabis-themed museum or art exhibit.
- Plan a cannabis-infused spa day, with massages, facials, and other relaxing treatments, either by yourself, with your partner, or as a group activity with friends.
- Host a 420-themed costume party or masquerade ball.
- Book a cannabis-infused hot air balloon ride or helicopter tour to get as high as possible on 4/20.
As you can see, there are tons of fun things to do on 420. Whether you prefer to socialize, stay in, or embark on higher-energy adventures, it’s easy to come up with something for everyone. Just remember to consume responsibly and be aware of local laws and regulations. Be sure not to consume in public areas that don’t allow it, and never drive or do anything else potentially hazardous while under the influence. However high- or low-effort you go with your activity planning, you will also want to make sure that everyone involved is comfortable with partaking or being around cannabis consumption.
Celebrate Cannabis Reform on 4/20
4/20 has also become known as a time to celebrate the major gains that have been made in the push for cannabis legalization and decriminalization. Currently, the day serves as a great reminder to keep working until Americans from coast to coast have access to safe, legal, high-quality cannabis.
In recent years, 420 as a holiday has taken on a more mainstream tone as cannabis legalization continues to build momentum in the United States and around the globe. Over half of the states have legalized cannabis in some form, especially when you count medicinal marijuana programs. In 2018, Canada became the second country in the world to legalize cannabis for recreational use, following Uruguay’s lead in 2013.
For many of us in Arizona and other recreational-friendly states, cannabis has become a healthy and positive part of our day-to-day lives. However, it’s important to reflect on the fact that it is still controversial and stigmatized in many parts of the world, including many parts of our own country. There are still many challenges facing the cannabis industry and cannabis users, including smart regulation, fair taxation, and continued social stigma.
Legal, responsible cannabis users still face discrimination and prejudice in certain spaces. As such, there is still a need for cannabis education and awareness. 4/20 is a fantastic opportunity to spread the word.
Celebrate 420 and Beyond with Kind Meds AZ
If you’re looking for a fantastic selection of high-quality cannabis products to help you celebrate 420 2023 in style, look no further than Kind Meds. Our cannabis dispensary in Mesa, Arizona offers an awesome assortment of flower, edibles, concentrates, vaping products, tinctures, topicals, and more. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff are always ready to help you find the perfect products to suit your needs. We pride ourselves on providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all our customers.