The inaugural 420 Games are planned for this weekend at Golden Gate Park with a 5k race, a talk with Harborside dispensary founder Steve DeAngelo, a live performance from all-female Led Zepplin tribute band Zepparella and a beer tastings from Lagunita’s Brewing Co.
Jim McAlpine, also the founder of annual Bay Area snowboard and ski event SnowBomb, is the mastermind behind the new 420-friendly event, designed to promote a more healthy image among marijuana users. The San Francisco event is the first in a series that that will also include a stand-up paddle board event at Lake Tahoe, an Orange County bike cruise and an urban decathlon in San Diego.
McAlpine shared more details in an interview.
What is the mission of 420 Games?
The mission is to destigmatize the idea many people have of those who are responsible and holistic users of marijuana. Our main goal is to break down the stigma and gather support.
How does it make you feel when people say all medical marijuana users are “stoners?”
It makes me feel like marijuana may be legal or decriminalized but the stigma and judgement from using it is still strong and unfair. It reminds me of the women’s rights or the gay pride movement in the way we are now fighting to gain respect for free choice/equal rights as not to have to feel in the closet about marijuana use.
What is your favorite dispensary in San Francisco and why?
My favorite dispensary in San Francisco is Grassroots because of their level of professionalism. Some dispensaries can be very seedy and unprofessional. My other favorite dispensary is actually in Oakland and is called Harborside. Harborside should be a model for all medical marijuana dispensaries around the world because it is health oriented, and is a positive example for all other dispensaries.
What do you expect to happen with 420 games a year from now?
I’d like to see it become a national thing. As of now, 420 games is hitting the coast of California. The next stop would be some states that need our help and our support and also eventually moving to Colorado and Washington.
Tell me more about the medical marijuana educational program designed to benefit youths?
The goal is to be philanthropic and supportive of the movement by working with SOLc3 profit PRIME. Most proceeds will go to this program that set up standards and treatment for people to smoke responsibly.
Weed is not for everyone and this is why education is important to teach people why you might want to and not want to use marijuana.
What are a few physical activities you would recommend to medical marijuana users in SF?
The key to exercising is to start slow. I have bad knees and I started working out by walking three miles a day. Do something that is attainable and do it in moderation. When people get back into working out, they push themselves beyond the limits. This is why it’s important to exercise in moderation.
My personal favorite form of exercise is swimming. I swim a mile every morning. I think ultimately, for everyone else, is knowing your limits.
Do you have any last words to people who are thinking about joining the event on Sept. 13th?
To remember what the movement is all about, to use medical marijuana in a responsible and healthy way. At the event, we want the opposite of your typical 420 stoner. We want people to come out to be successful, happy and live a great lifestyle.