4/20 is a nationally recognized holiday, but with the ongoing pandemic, should celebrations continue?
All public events in San Luis Obispo County have been canceled and we are in an unprecedented time during this crisis, with over half of Americans being told to stay home as well as the fact that it is occurring during April, the month of 4/20.
After a bit of lobbying from activists, marijuana dispensaries have been deemed essential businesses in most states and are still serving the public through deliveries or curbside pickups. A list of delivery and curbside pickup dispensaries in SLO county can be accessed through the Weedmaps website or app.
Analytics in the cannabis market comparing sales from the week of Feb. 10 through 16, and the week of March 30 through April 6, show sales are more common now than before COVID-19. These trends suggest a higher volume of sales in the morning and early afternoon rather than in the evening. Specifically, sales seem to have increased drastically on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, while Friday evenings have decreased. This could be due to the fact that since a lot of people aren’t working, this is when it is most convenient to buy from the dispensaries rather than going in after work.
It was also noted that the largest spike in sales volume was on Wednesday, April 1, suggesting the spirit of 4/20 is doing well. With people now getting their stimulus checks, it is expected there will be another rise in sales on the day of 4/20, especially with dispensaries still having a number of discounts and deals.
This is a big step forward for cannabis legalization activists, as the importance of marijuana is being put on par with food, water, and medicine.
There’s also some controversy since COVID-19 seems to target the upper respiratory system. Should people still be smoking? Are people still planning on celebrating 4/20 outside of their home? And most importantly, will it be safe?
Don’t plan on going to any large cities that are known for their 4/20 celebrations. San Francisco Mayor London Breed is telling people that are planning to celebrate 4/20 at Robin Williams Meadow (also known as “Hippie Hill”) to stay home. The city usually allows this event despite its non-smoking laws in public areas, with 19,000 attending last year.
Breed said she will not allow this unsanctioned event to occur at the height of a pandemic. There will be fences and roadblocks around the perimeter, as well as officers patrolling the area prepared to issue citations and arrests. She also retweeted a post from Bay Area rapper E-40 urging people to stay home as well.
A heartfelt message from the Ambassador of the Bay Area, @E40.
Don’t gather for 4/20. Stay home, stay safe. Protect your family and your community. pic.twitter.com/MWHAIVpJeG
— London Breed (@LondonBreed) April 17, 2020
So how will the residents of San Luis Obispo spend their 4/20 in the midst of a pandemic?
“I was planning to hike Bishop’s with a bunch of homies, all of us with our own blunt to smoke at the top,” said Austin Rust, a local Cuesta College student. “Due to COVID we’re still gonna face some blunts on top of Bishop’s.”
Hiking trails are bound to be packed on the central coast due to the closure of California’s state beaches and restricted parking lots in Morro Bay and Pismo Beach. Be sure to practice those social distancing skills.
“I’m probably going to eat an edible with every meal and make sure I am smoking a bowl for every breath I take,” said Anthony Jones, a Cuesta College student.
Evidently, COVID-19 will not stop people from celebrating 4/20.
“I had plans to call out sick [from work] for 4/20 but thanks to COVID I can’t call out sick or they’re gonna think I got ‘rona,” said Saul Salgado, a San Luis Obispo resident. “But when I get home I’m gonna get baked.”
People will want to leave the house in order to celebrate 4/20. Staying home is most likely the best way to minimize your risk of contracting COVID-19. There are many effective ways to practice social distancing during these strange times.
“I have no school or work so I’m gonna get dummy high all day,” said Ella Philips, a student at Cal Poly.
No matter what you choose to do, be sure to keep yourselves and other people safe. We’re going to get through this.