If you think marijuana users are all like Cheech & Chong, you obviously haven’t heard of The Four-Twenty Games—an advocacy run for cannabis users aiming to combat the “lazy stoner” stigma. With races held throughout California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington that gather as many as 2,000 people each, The 420 Games includes a cleverly measured 4.2-mile course and a finish line village with sponsor booths, a concert and a beer tasting garden by Lagunitas Brewing Company. Founder Jim McAlpine explains how The 420 Games is disproving the widespread stoner stereotype and shares how some sports are using weed for the greater good.
How does The 420 Games differ from other runs?
Our events are similar to the 5 to 10K races you see around. The difference is they’re an advocacy for a specific lifestyle. We’ve got a very specific demographic of people who come out, but we’re cognizant and want to make sure people don’t look at us as a stoner event. We ask people not to smoke on-site. We’re coming out to advocate the cause that people can use cannabis in healthy, respectful and active lifestyles, not to get high.
What’s your motivation?
There are a lot of people out there who misunderstand marijuana or have been misinformed, and there are a lot of stigmas behind it. Personally, I use marijuana and have every day for 30 years. I’m a successful entrepreneur and athlete, married with kids and live a normal life. I’m a higher-level executive and [have seen] people at business conferences get blacked out on alcohol, whereas I have to hide my marijuana use. Personally, I got tired of [the stigma] and didn’t want to have to hide what I did anymore.