Finding 420

in Culture

It’s around 10:30 a.m. on an otherwise average Wednesday in San Rafael, California. I’ve arrived at San Rafael High School to see the Louis Pasteur statue where a group of high school friends in the early ’70s smoked weed. I wander tentatively on the high school campus among the students with backpacks rushing to class. I don’t exactly blend in, and a teacher spots me. 

“Can I help you? You look lost,” he says.

I try to explain myself in a way that doesn’t reveal my allegiances to the leaf.

“I’m here to see the art, the statue of Louis Pasteur,” I say.

“Oh, you’re on a 420 pilgrimage,” he says smiling and points to the area of the school where the art should be. “We put the statue in storage while we complete the construction.”

When I express sadness and lower my shoulders in disappointment, he smiles again and tells me, “don’t worry, it will be back.”

“Happy 420!” I say joyfully and head out to my next destination.

420 Eve & The Temple Dragons

The first time I went to Terrapin Crossroads, the now-shuttered bar and music venue in San Rafael founded by former Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh, I walked confidently straight backstage and discovered large jars filled with cannabis. The 2016 event was a 420 Eve party hosted by longtime High Times Editor-in-Chief Steve Hager who had labeled each jar of bud with a different character from Arthurian legend. I smoked them all, Guinevere, the Green Knight, King Arthur, and had an absolute blast. At one point, Steve announced the music would start and, as it turned out, he was also the performer with his act, the Temple Dragons, an homage to something from his past. As Cannabis Digest explains, the Temple Dragons were …

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Author: Ellen Holland / High Times

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