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.

Doors opened at 8 a.m. on the west coast Tuesday and the crowds were ready. (David Downs/Leafly)
Doors opened at 8 am on the West Coast Tuesday and the masked crowds were ready. (David Downs/Leafly)

Hippie Hill, the famed Golden Gate Park gathering place for decades of 420, remained closed this year.

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.

Chicken and tater tots combined at Jack in the Box Tuesday. (Jack in the Box)
Chicken and tater tots combined at Jack in the Box Tuesday. (Jack in the Box)

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.

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.

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:

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.

Leafly CEO Yoko Miyashita in Pennsylvania supporting reform Tuesday. (Leafly)
Leafly CEO Yoko Miyashita in Pennsylvania supporting cannabis reform Tuesday. (Leafly)

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.

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.

Comedian Ms. Pat interview rapper Too Short before 4:20 p.m. via livestream. (430 Together Again)
Comedian Ms. Pat interviews rapper Too Short before 4:20 pm via livestream. (420 Even Higher Together)

Musician Jhene Aiko kept the vibes so chill on the West Coast just minutes before 4:20.

Jhene Aiko and band elevate the 420 livestream vibrations. (420 Even Higher Together)

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.

Comedian Bob Saget was just happy to be out of lockdown Tuesday. (via Couch Locked Netowrk)

“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.

(via Puffco)
(via Puffco)
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David Downs

David Downs directs news and lifestyle coverage as the California Bureau Chief for Leafly.com. He’s written for WIRED, Rolling Stone and Billboard, and is the former cannabis editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as the author of several cannabis books including ‘Marijuana Harvest’ by Ed Rosenthal and David Downs. He co-hosts The Hash podcast. TW: @davidrdowns | IG @daviddowns

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