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Monday, March 20, 2023

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The Bay Area’s 420 Event Guide

This year, Californians will light up on 4/20 under the most lax marijuana laws since before 1913, when cannabis was made illegal.

The Bay Area is a particularly noteworthy place to celebrate the unofficial holiday, as the whole “420 thing” can be traced to a group of high school students in Marin County who called themselves “Waldos” and coined the term in 1971.

And while going to Dolores Park and smoking with friends is always an option, there are plenty more things you can do this 4/20. Here are a few events that can help you get the party started.

At 9 p.m., Wednesday, April 19, at the Midway. $35-$110; themidwaysf.com

On April 19, 1943, Albert Hoffman, a chemist living in Switzerland, went for a bike ride – on acid. That’s why April 19 is known as “Bicycle Day”, and its followers like to celebrate it as faithfully as possible. If that’s your bag, head to the Midway for super psychedelic music from Bureau of Sabotage (featuring members of Dead & Co., Disco Biscuits and Thievery Corporation) featuring art by Alex and Allyson Grey. The event also has a “215 section,” where Bay Area cannabis companies such as Legion of Bloom, Emerald Essence, and Gold Seal sell their medicinal wares.

At 8 p.m., Wednesday 19 April, at Punch Line. $18; punchlinecomedyclub.com

Smoking weed and going to a comedy show is a tried and true recipe for a good time. Do yourself a favor and head to Punch Line for some weed chuckles courtesy of stoner comic Ngaio Bealum and other special guests. Bealum is an SF native who hosts the annual Cannabis Comedy Festival, writes a marijuana-focused column for the Sacramento News Review, and regularly organizes various High times events.

At 4:20 p.m., Thursday, April 20, at the Bill Graham Civic Center Auditorium. $55-$59.50; apeconcerts.com

San Francisco rapper Berner, one of our city’s most famous stoners, once again presents “Hippie Hill” to Bill Graham. And there will be no shortage of weed at this weed-friendly hip-hop event. This year he brings some of his buds such as Kevin Gates, Lil B, Young Dolph and Kool John. If you’re looking for blunts and beats, this is the place to be.

At 7 p.m., Thursday, April 20, Sundance Kabuki Theater. sundancecinemas.com. Also at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 20, at Century 9 San Francisco Center and Daly City 20.

Forget taking bong hits and watching half baked for the hundredth time. If you’re looking for a cinematic experience that pairs well with a solid buzz, head to Tthe Grateful Dead movie. Filmed in 1974 during a five-night run at the legendary Winterland Ballroom, it’s packed with great performances and great behind-the-scenes footage. Bonus points if you eat sour on Bike Day, stay up all night and do so the next day.

At 10 a.m., Thursday, April 20 – Saturday, April 22, at Sonoma County Events Center, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. $40-$420; cannacon.org

Cannacon is like a home and garden trade show for the cannabis industry. With a focus more on the business and logistics side of the cannabis industry, this convention is a little different from other cannabis-related events that mainly revolve around products. From grow equipment to packaging, nutrients to tax lawyers, this event has it all.

At 2:05 PM, Friday April 21 – Sunday April 23, at Cow Palace. $50-$150; cowpalace.com.

While it doesn’t have the most imaginative name, this festival has a solid collection of reggae artists, including Collie Budz, Tribal Seeds, Kymani Marley, and half a dozen others. As for weeds, there will be pharmacies and vendors (as well as lawyers offering legal advice).

All day, Thursday, April 20, Golden Gate Park. Free

No 4/20 roundup would be complete without a shout out to one of the biggest annual public smoke outs in the country (and maybe the world). If you want to get high in an extremely tolerant environment and don’t have the money to attend any of the other events then this might be for you. Wise word: take public transport, because every year thousands of people come to this event. Please also clean up yourself – last year’s event produced 17,000 pounds of waste.

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