I love this time of year. When the days wrap up and the work winds down, there's nothing quite like turning on the TV and watching hundreds of people who are in better shape than I will ever be in my life, competing against other ridiculously fit people from around the world. There's something beautiful about watching bobsled teams hurtle down a deadly snow pipe as fast as they can or witnessing the grace of a figure skater as he lands a triple axel. (Does anyone else yell at their TV when the announcers point out a flaw that you wouldn't have been able to see without a microscope?)
There are times, though, when I watch the Olympics and think, "Is weed holding me back from my full potential?" Don't get me wrong: I exercise. I hit the slopes. I can ice skate (admittedly not well). But are all of these people so much more athletic and motivated in part because they don't use recreational drugs? Then I remind myself that many Olympians do use marijuana, both recreationally and as part of their training, and are even allowed to have low amounts of the drug in their systems when they compete, so long as it is not used to enhance performance.
The Winter Olympics in PyeongChang kept us entertained and excited until the end of February. But what now? I'm glad you asked. Now that the 2018 Winter Olympics have wrapped up, we'll have just under a month before our new favorite games begin in Los Angeles: The 420 Games!
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What Are the 420 Games?
Remember earlier, when I was talking about weed holding me back? That was me falling victim to the stigma that surrounds cannabis use. Much of society still believes that people who smoke weed are lazy, unmotivated stoners who are wasting their lives away. Sound familiar? You probably heard something similar from your middle school D.A.R.E program, in your high school health class, and from your parents when they had the "drug talk" with you. We were raised in a cannabis prohibition era to believe that using cannabis is for losers, bums, people who won't accomplish anything – or don't care to try.
The 420 Games were established to prove all of those high and mighty, misinformed folks wrong, and to shine a light on how marijuana can contribute to a healthy and responsible lifestyle. The Games, which do not correlate with the awesome 420 holiday events, take place in states that have legalized recreational marijuana: California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, Florida, and Nevada. They also take place in Arizona, even though the state has only legalized medical marijuana at this point. But no matter the state, each event features a 4.20-mile course, live music, and educational speakers on the benefits of marijuana use.
Any athlete can sign up to compete in the 420 Games, but the organization has a special place in its heart for athletes who embody the mission to destigmatize the "pothead" image. If you're a competitor who believes marijuana is not a crime, and who wants to help change the outdated public opinion of cannabis in a respectful way, this event is for you – and you can sign up to be a "cannathlete" sponsored by the event.
It's important to note that not all athletes who compete in the 420 Games use cannabis. For athletes who do partake, the Games request that they do so discreetly, legally, and respectfully.
Why Should I Care?
Do you use marijuana, or believe in adults' rights to use it recreationally or medically? Then you should care about the 420 Games. Their mission is to change the public opinion of cannabis by positively and respectfully teaching those who have been raised in the era of cannabis prohibition. The ultimate goal of the Games is to help all people make educated decisions about marijuana use.
However, the organizers of the 420 Games are emphatic that they do not support underage marijuana use, nor do they endorse the illegal or irresponsible use of the drug. Instead, the organization believes strongly that cannabis should be regulated in an intelligent, well-informed manner. This will ensure the smoothest possible integration of recreational marijuana use into a progressive, post-prohibition society.
The respectful and responsible manner in which the 420 Games are approaching marijuana law reform is inspiring. Changing society's outlook on cannabis use will have more effects than just marijuana's legalization: it will also drastically reduce crime rates and prison populations. Marijuana possession and sale is one of the most common reasons for incarceration in the United States due to outdated laws that cost billions of dollars to enforce each year. And minorities are, as usual, at a staggering disadvantage. Cannabis law reform is an enormous step in the right direction toward equality in this sense, and toward community rehabilitation.
The Upcoming 420 Games
Interested in participating in this year's 420 Games? We've got great news for you! The 2018 Tour will host the Games in four different locations across the US: Los Angeles, Denver, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh. Grab your buds and your favorite workout gear and sign up for an event near you!
Santa Monica Pier & Venice Skate Bowl
Saturday, March 31 | 8am ? 4pm at The Pier North Lot 1 (MAIN EVENT)
Sunday, April 1st | 10am ? 3pm at The Pier North Lot 1
Note: If you're planning to attend the Los Angeles 420 Games, keep an eye out for us! That's right, Leafbuyer will be at LA's 420 Games to help educate Americans on the benefits of responsible (and enjoyable) marijuana usage. We hope to see you there!
SATURDAY (9 am to 4 pm): Village opens at 9 am and then at 10 am, we'll do a shotgun start from The Santa Monica Pier heading South along Ocean Front Walk to VENICE BEACH, turn around, and back to The Pier. For 4.20 miles of exercise before The 420 Games Village! You can Walk, Jog, Skate or Ride the 4.20 miles! Then visit the 420 Games Village and check out all the awesome events below plus booths from 100+ industry exhibitors! (list below)
SUNDAY (10 am to 3 pm): Village opens at 10 am. An unofficial stroll to VENICE BEACH and back will take place over the course of the day. SUNDAY also features a professional skateboard contest at the Venice Skate Bowl.
BOTH DAYS will be filled with a 3 on 3 basketball tournament featuring NBA legends, MMA & Jiu Jitsu matches, speakers, comedy, over 100 cannabis companies and much more!