I could go on, jokingly, all day about how ardent pot smokers would probably forget that this Thursday was “4/20” – the international holiday for celebrating marijuana in places legal, mostly legal, still illegal, whatever. In reality, however, working toward legalizing weed, medicinally or recreationally, has come down to you, the celebrants of 4/20, who have held rallies across the country since the late 1960s.
Where the root of where the idea of 4/20 came from could be H.P Lovecraft’s 1939 short story “In the Walls of Eryx” where mirage-plants, eerily similar in image and effect to weed, got our tale’s protagonist high at 4:20. Steven Hager from High Times once reported to the New York Times that 4/20 revelry came from a ritual commenced by high school students in California who schmoked up every day at 4:20 until it became a code, or ugh, buzz word, for dope. Fun.
So, where was I?
No matter how or where or whence it came, 4/20 is a legitimate, un-calendar-ed holiday worth taking off for. In that spirit, Philadelphia Weekly would like to offer the stoner planet some ideas and locations to celebrate that marijuana high.
Watch the solar eclipse
On April 19 and April 20, depending where you are within the earth’s hemisphere (hey, I’m not writing this stuff for Martians, yet), a rare hybrid solar eclipse where the sun will appear to be enveloped in a ring of fire, will come to Australia, Indonesia, and other parts of Southeast Asia – the first of its decade, and the last for another ten years. You can thankfully watch this rare solar eclipse from anywhere in the world via livestreams, as well as watch the moon pass in front of the sun on April 20, between 1:30 and 7 a.m. universal time, 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, April 19 and 3 a.m. on Thursday, April 20. This is surely worth lighting up for.
Find the original 45 single of Cheech & Chong’s “Earache My Eye”
Stoner comedians Cheech & Chong’s films are kind-of played out and dated, but if you want to hold onto their cool, find the rare 45 of “Earache My Eye” featuring Alice Bowie, with its glam rock era sleeve and skits filled with yelling parents.
Celebrate 4/20 in New York City with the Infused Amsterdam Experience at The Green Room
Amsterdam may be filthy, but it’s as easy to get weed there, as it is Oreos. Pretend you are at a Dutch coffee shop and get served a special three-course weed-infused dessert, meal and coffee or tea. Tickets start at $55.20.
The Green Room 42, 570 10th Avenue, Hell’s Kitchen, New York, NY
Celebrate 4/20 in Brooklyn with Puff in The Park ’23 and The Black Girls Smoke Team
For their third annual 4/20 celebration, the beloved Black Girls Smoke team create a free, free-wheeling old school picnic and lay-around jam with DJs and vendors galore. Bring a blanket and snacks, and something to hide behind so you can toke up in peace.
Prospect Park, 95 Prospect Park W, Brooklyn, NY
Celebrate 4/20 in Philadelphia with Weeding Out the Stoned – The Game Show of Sobriety Tests at Helium Comedy Club (2 days later)
I could tease and say how the organizers of this annual event just couldn’t get it together for 4/20, but this live stand-up comedy showcase is too original and too juicy to dis. Local stand-up comedian, host and creator of Weeding Out the Stoned – The Game Show of Sobriety Tests, Alex Grubard, created this event in Philly for Five Dollar Comedy Week in 2015, and has booked it into the New York Comedy Festival, The Highlarious Comedy Festival and on tours throughout the country. The stand-up comedians who have smoked up in honor of the fan driven contest (only one comedian is NOT stoned while on stage doing their routines, leaving the club’s in-house fans to guess who that is) have included Todd Glass, Joel Kim Booster, Chanel Ali, Shane Gillis, Chris Thayer, Maddy Smith, Mekki Leeper, Rob Cantrell, Myq Kaplan, Kenice Mobley, Mike Drucker, Steven Rogers and over 500 additional comics. Come early and prepare to stay late – this could take a while. And don’t forget, that Philly’s Weeding Out the Stoned is on April 22, unless you just feel like standing around the Rittenhouse area all smoked up and stupid.
Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA
Celebrate 4/20 in Los Angeles with the 4/20 Underground Fest on Hope Street
Hip hop and high-minded hemp go together like gin and juice. To celebrate that, the Underground 420 Fest welcomes Skeme, Lil Deuce, They Call Me PYT, Pea McGee and more to the stage, with vendors, food, games, guests and giveaways galore – all while DJ Yas the Empress spins the stoner hop hits.
1617 S. Hope Street, Los Angeles, CA
Celebrate 4/20 in San Francisco with 420 Hippie Hill 2023 at Sharon Meadows in Golden Gate Park
Though once an underground sensation, the city where the hippies got their locks, San Francisco, and its annual 4/20 bash at Sharon Meadows (also known as Robin Williams Hill in commemoration of the late comedian and actor who lived nearby), made the fest legal in 2017, now held in partnership with city departments and big-name partnerships. That, however, does not change the vibe of a sunny day of people smoking under blue skies, all to the sounds of differs live music and other stoner entertainments. “From the counterculture movement in the 1960s to compassionate use during the AIDS crisis, cannabis played an important role in San Francisco’s history of progressiveness and activism. The Evergreen San Francisco festival highlights this legacy and puts a spotlight on the city’s regulated cannabis and social equity businesses. With iconic places throughout the city like Hippie Hill and The Castro serving as a backdrop, the festival gives visitors the opportunity to experience first-hand how we are reimagining what the cannabis experience looks like,” Joe D’Alessandro, CEO of San Francisco Travel, wrote in a statement.
Sharon Meadows/Robin Williams Meadows, Kezar Drive and Bowling Green Drive, San Francisco, CA