The Oxford English Dictionary, a favorite read among stoners, added a section just below the term 420 last year, officially acknowledging its place in marijuana culture.
Whether taken as a date or time, or simply screamed from a high school graduation stage, those in the know have responded to the call with smirking satisfaction. And while the term (first coined by California high-schoolers in 1974) may have once been juvenile code for a juvenile practice, the modern era’s stance on the “Sticky Icky” has added a slightly patriotic twist to 420.
Under President Barack Obama, pot enthusiasts, growers and dispensaries in states where the plant’s use has been legalized were given relative freedom to act in accordance with state laws. The new regime has been far less accommodating. But the wave of progress made on the legalization of pot over the past 10 years has opened Pandora's baggie. It’s clearer than ever that some bowls just can’t be unpacked.
If you need any more proof that the times are a-changin', here are seven ways North Texans will be celebrating the occasion this April 20 in a state where marijuana still isn't legal. No matter if you’re a dedicated Rastafarian or still swearing that you never inhaled, these events will help open your mind despite not actually getting you high … for the most part.The House Sports Bar & Grill, 3610 S. Cooper St., Suite 120, Arlington, $7 (DFW NORML members),
NORML has been advocating for legalization since 1970, but for the first time ever it’ll be out in force in Arlington to spread the message and help register you to vote. Since 2008, 18 states have signed into law some form of legal marijuana, with more states considering options ranging from decriminalization to full-blown legality. DFW NORML’s #TokeTheVote party is looking to ride that wave of momentum by spreading its message and registering people to vote this April 20. At this town hall meeting of sorts, attendees will discuss strategies for influencing elected officials over rounds of drinks and hear why this cause is so important from “inspirational speakers.” Help spread the word or hear the other side of the story — no matter what side you stand on, you’ll at least walk away better informed.
Fourth Annual BrainDead 4/20
BrainDead Brewing, 2625 Main St.
BrainDead Brewing is no stranger to serving up primo mugs of delicious suds. But April 20 is a hallowed occasion for the BrainDead crew, and as usual, they’ll be celebrating in style. This will be the brewery’s fourth annual 420 celebration and will feature the unhinged improvisational energy of Mark Rebillet, who first hit the map at BrainDead’s Festicle event in November. Toast to your appreciation to all things cannabis as the clock strikes 4:20 p.m. and sate your munchies from the event’s special menu, all while giggling like a lunatic with one of Dallas’ newest and weirdest acts.
Cannabis Open Carry Walks (LXII) Arlington
Raisin Cane's, 1322 N. Collins St., Arlington
Now don’t get too excited at the name of this event. The organizers are clearly recommending that no one carry or smoke their weed during the 62nd Cannabis Open Carry Walk. Instead, people will gather while waving banners and passing out pamphlets. This nonpolitical group has been putting walks like this together across Texas since February. And while heading down to Raising Cane's (yes that is where the walk starts) won’t do much to help legalize that dab rig you keep in your trunk, the group is hoping to build a following before attempting to take action during the 2019 Texas legislative session.
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DMS Fifth Anniversary and 420 Bash
Since its birth five years ago, the Dallas Metal Scene Facebook page has become a much-needed haven for local metal bands and boisterous headbangers. While most wouldn’t think of narco grindcore as a particularly suitable genre of music for a night of wacky tobaccy, DSM is throwing an anniversary bash a day late to make 420 metal again. Slayer tribute band War Ensemble will headline this deafening night of local thrash, metal and grind. Pro tip to anyone heading to the mosh pit: Legal CBD can help soothe those sore joints after this night — until the state bans that, too.
Happy Clouds 420
South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St., $44
Although it's based in Austin (and with no shops to speak of in DFW), Happy Clouds Smoke Shop is putting on a brain-melting EDM bill. The combination head shop/recording studio/tattoo parlor is a bit of a landmark in Austin and is split up between two stores. Happy Clouds has also branched out into promotion. Renowned producer Seven Lions will headline the Dallas show alongside What So Not, G Jones and more. For a somewhat more shamanistic celebration of April 20, there’s no better place for EDM this 420.
New Belgium Hemperor 420 Party
3656 Howell St.
Lots of places in Dallas advertise the availability of “dank ass beer.” In anticipation for the holiday, The Rustic has teamed New Belgium Brewing to offer a new beer that goes above and beyond in search of true dankness. New Belgium’s Hemperor HPA uses a secret technique to re-create the flavor of hemp terpenes (the compounds that give weed and other plants their smell) in your beer. The flavor is apparently so different, New Belgium has decided to christen this a new style of IPA, hence its name. Whether this ambitious beverage can live up to its hype has yet to be seen. Let’s just hope it doesn’t taste like carbonated bong water.
Take a Nine-Hour Drive to Trinidad, Colorado
Trinidad is the closest city to Dallas with legal recreational weed, but the nine-hour drive to Trinidad won’t feel as bad once you pass into Mountain Time. While this option may seem a little excessive to some, there’s clearly no truer (or more legal) way to enjoy your April 20 than this. Weed tourism is a big contributor to the nearly $4 billion in weed sales Colorado’s raked in since it moved to legalize. And for those who’ve always been dissuaded by the illegality of sweet lady Mary Jane, what better time to dip your toes in the water pipe than on 420? Take the day off work. Invite a few friends. And re-create your favorite stoner movie moments along the way.