‘420 Games’ Set Out to Prove Stoners Can Play Sports Too

Venice Beach (Francesco Zuccolo / Flickr / CC / Cropped)
Francesco Zuccolo / Flickr / CC / Cropped

California marijuana enthusiasts will have the chance this month to break some long-held stereotypes and prove they can play sports too, when the “420 Games,” a kind of “stoner Olympics,” debuts in San Jose.

The 420 Games, beginning May 17 at San Jose’s Hellyer Park, will feature a 5K run, half marathons, triathlons, obstacle courses and all other manner of competitive sporting events, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Of course, the 5K run, normally a 3.1 mile stretch, will be adjusted to a 4.20 mile run in celebration of the event’s theme.

“We’re coming off of decades of negative propaganda stigmatizing cannabis use,” Games founder Jim McAlpine told the paper. “We’ve all been lied to, it’s a bad rap and we need to change the dialogue. There are millions of people who use marijuana in effective, healthy and productive ways. We plan to show this to the world via athletic achievement.”

In addition to San Jose, the Games are set to be held in Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Orange County, Boulder, CO and Seattle, WA. Each city’s Games will kick off with the 4.20-mile 5K run, and then attendees will get to vote via social media on what the next event should be.

The Games come at a particularly good time for marijuana legalization. Several groups are already drafting legalization ballot measures for inclusion on the 2016 ballot. In Colorado and Washington, Games attendees already have the advantage of smoking up legally.

Still, in a disclaimer on their website, the Games organizers say they are not trying to encourage everyone to smoke marijuana.

“The 420 Games does not advocate that everyone should use cannabis. We are focused on teaching those who choose to do so how to be healthy and responsible. We are also focused on education and prevention for those who should not use cannabis, most importantly minors. We do not endorse the illegal or irresponsible use of cannabis.”

420 Games organizers told the Chronicle that a portion of the proceeds from the event will go to youth charities.

Check out the list of all of the Games events here.



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