Advice for Vancouver's first-time 4/20 attendees

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      Hello, Vancouver stoners! In case you haven't heard, today is 4/20, the annual celebration/public spectacle celebrating all things chronic.

      Perhaps this is your first-time attending 4/20 at the Vancouver Art Gallery. As a storied veteran of the event, I offer a few words of wisdom.

      Have you ever smoked pot before? Are you planning on getting high for the first time today? Do not do it at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Large, loud social situations are pretty much the worst place for first-time tokers to light up. You are putting drugs into your system and you don't know how your brain and body will react.

      I can't emphasize this enough: do not choose a pot festival as your first place to try weed.

      Do wear a funny costume.
      Miranda Nelson

      Don't eat anything anyone hands to you for free. Just... don't. I don't care how well you know the person; you do not know what's in that random piece of chocolate. (Mushrooms. It was mushrooms. And it was terrifying.)

      That being said, do buy edibles! There are some amazing bakers on site today. However, take your treats home before you eat them; there's no standard dose for edibles and some will knock you on your ass harder than you might expect.

      Definitely eat the cookies. Later. At home. On your own time.
      Miranda Nelson

      Drink lots of water. Wear a hat and sunscreen. Put some decent shoes on. These seem like obvious things. They are not. Go get a water bottle right now.

      Take sample hash tokes with care.
      Miranda Nelson

      If this is one of your first times attending—or your very first time getting high even though I told you not to do that today—bring along a friend. Use the buddy system to ensure you don't have a medical emergency. I know I harp on this a lot but I've seen too many teenagers pass out in front of me on April 20. The on-scene ambulance crew is great but you do not want to lose consciousness when you're smushed in the middle of a crowd of 20,000+ people.

      Pictured: the best 420 buddy a person could have!
      Miranda Nelson

      Drink some more water now, please.

      Don't throw garbage in the fountain.
      Miranda Nelson

      Make friends! Pretty much everyone (see exception below) at 4/20 is great to talk to and everyone's always excited to show off their new glass piece or their artifully rolled joints.

      Do not wear an Anonymous mask, act like an entitled douchebag, and threaten people. (True story. Don't be this guy.)
      Miranda Nelson

      The north side of the gallery is going to be a shit-show starting around 1 p.m. Stay on Robson or Howe; there's even a stage on Howe so you don't have to brave the impassible hordes of people on the plaza side of the gallery in order to listen to some sweet dudes, brah.

      Always pass to the left or you screw up the rotation.

      Do not attempt to smoke a joint this large unless you are a seasoned professional.
      Miranda Nelson

      Bring cash. Everything is for sale but no one takes plastic.

      Don't forget your towel!
      Miranda Nelson

      Finally, please drink some more water.



      Do Something Useful

      Apr 20, 2015 at 2:12pm

      The best piece of advice is to look closely at the people down there and especially the fact that most of them have no jobs to go to on a Monday. For many of them, smoking pot IS the most important thing in their lives. If you're a young person (especially male) who isn't smoking pot, then don't start. It's been proven beyond a doubt that young people with a potential to develop schizophrenia, or other mental illnesses, will be hit much harder if they smoke pot, especially today's potent strains. I've seen it in my extended family and it's a nightmare for everyone involved.

      Smoking pot has also been shown to be emotionally and somewhat physically addictive and definitely affects short term memory and can lead to apathy. There's nothing attractive about pot heads and given that we have become so aware of what we put in our bodies, it makes no sense to dirty your system with something as useless as pot.


      Apr 20, 2015 at 6:04pm

      It's ironic that the people participating in this today will be the be the people most upset when it's legalized. It will be commercialized, controlled, and certainly limited to where you can partake...just like alcohol and tobacco. That illicit joint on the beach will get you a ticket, just a beer or a cigarette can

      look and see

      Apr 20, 2015 at 6:15pm

      you can pretty much tell the pot smokers from the non smokers.
      like the commenter above.....those that attend these are more then likely unemployed, daily smokers of weed, with little or no ambition to do anything but get high.
      Regardless what some many say...weed smokers usually have issues (emotionally, mentally etc..)
      the pot just numbs them for awhile.
      I agree.. NOTHING attractive about a pot smoker.


      Apr 21, 2015 at 9:12am

      This is exactly what Vancouver needs, a bunch of losers, waiving their bongs in the air and leaving behind their potato chip bags for others to clean up for them.


      Apr 21, 2015 at 7:01pm

      I smoke weed sometimes, but don't bother attending these events even though I had Monday off. Nothing wrong with it though. Better than drinking corporate-approved alcohol.