The 420 Games, a unique sporting event that celebrates both cannabis and a healthy lifestyle, heads out on its 2017 tour starting in April.
The first stop: Los Angeles on April 1 at the Santa Monica Pier. The event will feature a 4.20 mile run, live music, educational speeches on legal marijuana, the BMX Pros and a beer garden run by Lagunitas. The event promotes both the legal use of marijuana and a healthy lifestyle.
Why stage such an event? To fight an ages-old stereotype. As the 420 Site proclaims:
“The 420 Games were established to show that cannabis users are NOT lazy, unmotivated or ‘stoners’ and to de-stigmatize the millions who use cannabis in a healthy and responsible lifestyle.”
420 Games: Founded By An Athlete
Jim McAlpine, an athlete who specialized in long-distance swimming, founded the event. This is the second year it will be held in Los Angeles. Denver, Portland, Seattle, Boulder and San Francisco also hosted 420 Games in 2016 and will do so again in 2017.
This year, the list of cities hosting 420 Games has expanded to include Phoenix and Las Vegas.
In an interview with Newsweek during the games in San Francisco last year, McAlpine said the debate over cannabis has reached a point where people are tuning out all the words “going back and forth.” He thought actions might prove a better idea than words, and came up with the concept for the games.
“I thought, why not use sheer athleticism to speak instead of more words? To say ‘Look, we’re not lazy, we’re not stoners. We’re out here [competing], and you’re not. And we’re ﬁnishing faster than you,’” said McAlpine, who also was an entrepreneur for years in the ski and snowboard industry.
Like other athletes, including NBA players and coaches, he said marijuana has not hurt his athletic endeavors. Just the opposite. McAlpine said he once could do all kinds of sports, but age has taken its toll.
“My body’s broken down and I have a bad back and I can’t run—all those things,” admits McAlpine. “As I become more of an old guy, cannabis has helped me keep my mind on the exercise—kind of the ‘Eye of the Tiger’ thing. When I use a little bit of cannabis I can deﬁnitely train or stay in the water for about three times as long.”
The 420 Games feature different ticket prices depending on whether you participate in the run, want access to the games village and want a medal for finishing the run.
Participants also can enter the Power Plant Fitness competition, in which every participant gets a pass for one free workout at Power Plant Fitness in San Francisco, billed as the “world’s first cannabis gym.” Another ticket gets you into the Lagunitas beer tasting tent.
After Los Angeles, the other stops and dates on the tour:
- Seattle – May 28
- Portland – June 10
- Denver – July 22
- Boulder – July 23
- San Francisco – Aug. 26
- Phoenix – September
- Las Vegas – November