“Pass that virtual blunt!”

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Cheryl Weatherford

Those of us old enough to remember “Pass that virtual blunt” on our flip phones probably have also participated in 4/20 in many ways: perhaps going over to a combustion connoisseur’s house, or using acrylic gas mask bongs, or passing around ornate glass pieces, or rolling up whether or not it could smoke.

Growing up in Iowa, 4/20 was a day of driving around back roads, visiting nature, and gathering in groups.  Today, as we all adjust to the coronavirus crisis, celebrating 4/20 needs to be more solitary — and that means mostly online.

This year, we can find our 4/20-friendly community on streaming platforms like Twitch, Youtube, Zoom and websites. You’ll find live music, cannabis discussions, cooking demos, industry experts and more. You can even support a cause or two.

This weekend, I’m looking forward to #420InPlace this afternoon, celebrating 50 years of advocacy with LA NORML’s pre-party on Sunday, Ganja Yoga on Monday, and learning more about my new state of residence, Illinois, by participating in the 420 Virtual Summit Monday.

Here’s a rundown of some of this year’s top events, in virtual form:

Sat. April 18, #420InPlace, 4:20-6:20 pm. Performers and presenters in this virtual festival will include Shea Couleé (Rupaul’s Drag Race), Lucy Stoole, White Mystery and more. You can also join Chef Angelina from Top Chef for a session, and observe glassblower Acacia Way. This is the virtual temporary reinvention of Waldo’s Forever Fest, Chicago’s first-ever major street festival for 4/20, that is now rescheduled for Sept. 26. For the full line-up today, and to RSVP, go to do312.com/waldos420inplace

Sun. April 19, Pre-420 Party! 50 YEARS IN THE MAKING, 3-5 pm. Celebrate NORML’s 50 year anniversary and take a journey through time and honor cannabis pioneers, new leaders, and future change-makers. All are welcome at WWW.LANORML.ORG.

Mon. April 20, 420 – An Elevated Experience, 6-7 pm. Led by Toronto-based instructors, the hour-long practice will work through meditation, mindful movement, and a relaxing savasana paired with crystal bowl sound healing. $10.

Mon. April 20, 420 Party in Place – Unify Mountain Soundz Takeover. Starting at noon and and ending 5 a.m. Sunday, this festival features music from Levitation Jones, FiYah, Da Moth, Dancing Arrow, Teknique, Ralphsta, Squoze, LootBegga, Ras Daws, I Cite, Mtn Menace, Bassick, Blynd Bastardz, Scoffa & Snarky, and Rinse Brothers all day long, with an UMZ old coats session to end the night.  All donations will be split between DanceSafe, UMS, and the supporting artists. Go to http://www.twitch.tv/unifymtnsoundz?sr=a  

Mon. April 20-Thurs. April 23, Bass Lab // Digital Festival & Fundraiser (4.20)

Anti-Vision, Dank ‘N’ Dirty Dubz, and Silent Motion will provide an interactive online event from midnight Monday to noon Thursday. Proceeds will benefit the participating veejays and deejays.

Mon. April 20, Chronic Relief, 1-6 pm,. This live-streamed variety show features musical performances and interviews with influencers and celebrities and raises money for Feeding America, which powers 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs across the United States. RSVP at farechild.com to receive a link to the telethon on April 20.

Mon. April 20, Highstream 420 Festival, 4 pm. America’s largest cannabis gatherings, the National Cannabis Festival and The Emerald Cup, join to present music, workshops, demos and panels to raise money for the Drug Policy Alliance and Americans for Safe Access. The event also benefits Crew Nation, a project that raises money for out-of-work event crews.

Mon. April 20, 420 Virtual Summit, 11:30-12:30am, Chicago NORML, a local chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and CANNAHEALTH Magazine join together to talk about cannabis-driven health and wellness.  RSVP at the website; this event is the first of its kind in Chicago and is produced by people of color.

Mon. April 20, Haus of Jane 420 Celebration, 4-7pm, Partake of industry speakers, a yoga session led by Ganja Yoga founder Dee Dussault, and a cannabis flower painting lesson, among other activities geared for women in cannabis. Register with Tokeativity.com; you’ll be asked to pay a donation on a sliding scale of $0-$25.

Safety Consumption Suggestions in the Age of Coronavirus 

(by not a health professional)

  • Bring your own piece (and your own lighter). No more walking home with 10 lighters in your pocket.
  • Clean glass with 70-90% isopropyl alcohol regularly.
  • Abide by State and Federal recommendations on social gatherings, including no more than 10 people together and keeping six feet apart.
  • Limit combustion if you can, since coronavirus is a respiratory virus. At minimum, consider avoiding papers, wraps, leaves or cigarillos. Try edibles if possible. 
  • Listen to Tommy Chong: visit  your dispensary before the holiday to flatten the 4/20 curve and comply with social distancing.  Chong and other celebrity cannabis icons who are in the cannabis industry made a “Great American Sesh-in” with a message to get your cannabis before Monday and be home to catch this livestream sesh.
  • Cough away from others, preferably outdoors, to reduce the spread of droplets in the air. 

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