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If you’re a marijuana enthusiast, April 20th is a pretty awesome day. If you don’t know what 420 is, think of it as Christmas for people who smoke weed, only without the gifts. Instead, it’s an opportunity to cut loose and party a little. While it’s definitely fun to celebrate on your own, for a marijuana lover it doesn’t get much better than being able to attend one of the massive 420 events that occur throughout the country.

Since recreational marijuana is still only legal in a few states (c’mon guys, seriously), attending one of these events can be a little tricky for some. Those of us who are lucky enough to live in a state that has legalized weed only have to worry about getting tickets and fighting the crowds. Out-of-staters have it a little tougher, as they have to worry about making travel plans, hotel reservations, and getting a grasp on that state’s particular marijuana laws.

Regardless of what you may have to go through to get there, attending a 420 event is well worth it. They’re a once-in-a-lifetime experience filled with interesting sights, sounds, and, of course, smells – the likes of which a marijuana lover can only dream of. If you’re making plans to attend a 420 event this year (like the 420 Rally in Denver, CO, the 420 Festival in Los Angeles, CA, or 420 Fest in Seattle, WA), you’re probably pretty stoked. So to help make sure your experience is as safe as it is fun, we’ve complied a list of tips and suggestions that you should check out before the big day!

  • Be observant of your surroundings. Do your best to stay alert and aware at all times. Watch out for sketchy characters, and know where it’s safe to be and where it’s not safe to be. This is especially important if you are attending an event in an unfamiliar city.
  • Stick with your group. With any event that draws a large crowd, the old adage “there’s safety in numbers” is most certainly true. Exchange phone numbers with everyone in your group, and work together to develop a game plan for the day that includes a tentative schedule of events as well as a location to meet up at if anyone gets separated.
  • Never drive high. First of all, it’s illegal, and second of all, it’s not worth the risk of injuring yourself or someone else. As a sponsor of this year’s 420 Rally in Denver, MassRoots has arranged an exclusive deal with Uber to provide attendees with a safe way to get back home. In fact, first-time Uber users can enter the promo code “p7rsj” to receive $20 towards a ride!
  • Know your limits. If you’re not a frequent smoker, or you haven’t smoked in a while, take it easy. Marijuana grown in states where it’s legal is getting more potent every day. Plan to take breaks from smoking and consume edibles responsibly. Remember, “start low and go slow.” You may even consider purchasing some CBD capsules, as these have been shown to lessen the paranoid effects that some people experience when they consume more than they should.
  • Stay hydrated and well fed. If you’re attending a large event, chances are you’re going to be outside and on your feet most of the day. Combine that with marijuana use and you have the perfect recipe for dehydration and exhaustion. If the venue you’re visiting allows it, pack snacks and bottled water. If not, research whether or not there will be food options at the event or find a few restaurants in the area you can easily walk to.
  • Know if your ticket includes re-entry. Because it would just plain suck to find that out the hard way.
  • Learn the laws. States that have legalized marijuana have only done so for those 21 or older. They’ll also have rules regarding where you can and cannot consume. While  there will likely be plenty of people smoking weed in public at a 420 event, that doesn’t mean it’s technically legal. If you choose to consume at the event, do so with discretion and be aware that you may still get a ticket.
  • If you plan on smoking, stock up. There’s probably nothing worse than being at a 420 event and not having enough weed. Stop by a dispensary or two to pick up all the edibles, bud, and concentrates you could ever need to make sure you won’t run out.
  • Never sell weed to anyone. No matter how politely they ask or how desperate they seem, just don’t do it. While the person asking you may have truly run out of their own supply, they could also be a cop or a narc trying to nab you for an illegal sale.
  • Watch out for secondhand smoke. Regardless of whether or not it’s legal to smoke at the venue you’re visiting, chances are there will be people smoking. If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or are prone to breathing issues, you’re probably better off staying home and avoiding the risk of secondhand exposure.
  • Don’t mix marijuana and alcohol. It’s not about whether you can handle it or not, it’s that if you consume both together, you run the risk of being too inebriated to have a good time. Plus your buddies probably didn’t sign up to babysit your drunk self all day.
  • Leave your valuables at home. Believe it or not, pickpockets are still a thing. Not to mention the fact that it’s easy to drop or misplace something when you’re in a large crowd and under the influence of marijuana. Bring only what you absolutely need, which should include one credit card, some cash, and your ID.
  • Check the weather and dress accordingly. Unless you managed to get a hotel right down the road from the event, going back to change out of wet clothes or put on a jacket is not going to be easy. Take a look at the forecast before you head out so you can be prepared for heat, cold, rain, snow, etc.
  • Don’t tip with weed. That includes your Uber driver, your waiter, and your hotel maid. They may like to consume marijuana, but they can’t use it to pay the bills.
  • Last but not least, HAVE FUN! Like we said, this kind of thing could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Enjoy it. Have fun people watching, and enjoy being in an environment that’s truly unlike any other. And don’t be afraid to dress up in a silly costume either!

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