This year, break free of Vancouver's 4/20 limitations and go down to Seattle to discover the miracle of legalization
Up here in Canada, we’re all waiting patiently while our new government figures out how it’s going to go about legalizing marijuana consumption. But if you want to enjoy this year’s round of 420-related festivities, Washington State is a safe space to dabble given that it legalized marijuana back in 2012. It’s not a complete free-for-all, mind you, and there are regulations in place to keep tourists “safe.” Parties and festivals down there operate under a strict B.Y.O.B. (bring your own bud*) policy—which means you won’t find samples like you would at a wine festival. But according to the organizers of the Dope Cup, a now-annual celebration of all things marijuana-related, this year’s events will still reach new heights. *Friendly reminder: this doesn't mean you can bring bud down from Canada
The Itinerary: Where to eat, sleep and play on your 4/20 travels
Comfort food is made for the munchies, but instead of a bag of stale chips you should hit up one of Skillet’s three locations or hunt down the original Airstream food trailer. Chef Josh Henderson, the Emerald City’s street-food wizard, created the fried-chicken sammy with a side of poutine to enrich our souls. His fiefdom now spans from Ballard to Capitol Hill to the new Skillet Regrade on Sixth Avenue. Roll on up for all-day breakfast bliss in the form of a pork belly and cornmeal waffle with a bacon jam Bloody Mary. skilletfood.com The burger and poutine, Sarah Flotard
If you want an all-out weed-themed weekend, check out one of Seattle’s new Bud and Breakfasts, like eccentric Victorian guest house Bed Baked and Beyond: Cherry Hill (US$83–$160 per night), complete with its own private Pot-ting Shed. bedbakedandbeyond.com Pot-ting Shed, Danilo Bonilla
As well as taking you to some of the city’s best dispensaries, The Original Cannabus tour (US$75) also shows guests around a legal grow operation, where you can watch the process unfold from the plants to the packaging. And don’t be shy about asking your guide which 420 events are going on that night—chances are, they’ll know all about them. theoriginalcannabus.com—Crai Bower The Original Canabus
- You must be over 21 years of age to smoke.
- Marijuana purchased in Seattle must be consumed within the state of Washington (in other words, don't bring home any stinky souvenirs).
- It's illegal to consume in public or at a marijuana dispensary, which means you need to have a friend with a private home (or have rented unofficially sanctioned, leaf friendly accommodation) to enjoy your purchase.
Ask the Border Guard
Q: Are border guards more likely to search a traveller's car on the way back into Canada if they have attended a marijuana festival? A: Secondary inspections are a part of the normal cross-border travel process and should not be viewed as an accusation of wrong-doing. (Translation: Duh.)