420 Games: Ganja Olympics
Photo courtesy 420 Games
One of the biggest blows to the credibility of cannabis users is the stereotype that they are all nothing but lazy stoners. The image is clear in dissenters’ minds: a bummed out person sprawled out on a couch, hitting a bong, watching cartoons and devouring all of the snack foods and pizza in sight. Thankfully, as the new era of cannabis legalization spreads across the country, cannabis users are becoming increasingly more aware of the fact that this image is not only incorrect, but damaging to the image of cannabis use as a whole.
Now, this image is about to get turned on its head thanks to the 420 Games, a multi-city fitness event taking place in cities across the nation in states where marijuana is legal. The event, cosponsored by the popular medical marijuana dispensary locater Weedmaps and Harborside Health Center, will feature a number of cannabis themed physical events to prove that the predetermined image of the “lazy stoner” is nothing but a misconception caused by years of damaging propaganda movements.
Jim McAlpine, the founder of the event and an executive businessman for the McAlpine snowboarding company, is out to prove that cannabis use and physical fitness don’t have to be two different worlds incapable of commingling.
“We’re coming off of decades of negative propaganda stigmatizing cannabis use,” McAlpine said in an interview with a local 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.”
Thel 420 Games will be take place across the country in San Jose, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Orange County, Boulder and Seattle. Each day will begin with a 5k run, which normally spans about 3.1 miles. But in celebration of the cannabis theme, the runs have been extended to 4.20 miles. The organizers say that “this ‘go the extra mile’ mentality will show cannabis users are motivated, successful and athletic members of society.”
On top of the fun run, the events for the games include a stand-up paddle board race in Lake Tahoe, a 26-mile cruiser bicycle race in Orange County, mountain bike races, triathlons, obstacle courses, golf tournaments and various other physical events that would make any fitness buff giddy as a schoolgirl.
The 420 Games had a small trial run last year in San Francisco, where the event was such a success that fans flooded the social media sites demanding for a repeat this year. And the organizers have catered to their fans wants: this year, the fans and participants will be able to use social media platforms to vote which event will be next during the games, giving them the power to make the responsible decisions that the games are attempting to advocate for.
Despite the cannabis-fueled theme surrounding the games, the organizers of the events are not encouraging cannabis use throughout the events. The disclaimer for the Games reads: “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.”
Overall, the message seems clear and uplifting for the cannabis user community: support the legal rights of cannabis users to safely and responsibly enjoy cannabis use for recreational and medical purpose, while destroying old stereotypes that are damaging the image of cannabis users nationwide.
If you like to get outside and get physical while still supporting a fantastic cause, try your hands at the 420 Games and show the dissenters that you can be physically fit and use cannabis at the same time.
A full list of the 420 Games events can be found here.
Would you compete in the 420 Games? Tell us about it in the comments.