Weed Traveler: The 420 Games in La La Land

By Sharon Letts
Published: April 24, 2017 | Last updated: April 7, 2021
Key Takeaways

Kicking off her Weed Traveler series for Maximum Yield, Sharon Letts attended the 420 Games in Los Angeles to see what they were all about.

Source: Rallying at The 420 Games. Photos by Sharon Letts.

The lazy stoner image was out the proverbial window when the 420 Games arrived at the beach by the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles this past April in Los Angeles.


Event organizer and athlete, Jim McAlpine, who uses cannabis as medicine for ADD (attention deficit disorder), said the plant has always allowed him to put his mind in a place where he can focus at the activity at hand.

“Whether I’m at the gym, in the pool, or riding a bike, cannabis helps keep me doing whatever I may be engaged in for a longer period of time,” he shared at the event. “And, more importantly, it makes everything more fun. I actually forget about the pain and stress of working out after medicating with cannabis.”


McAlpine, who founded the highly successful San Francisco Ski & Snowboard Festival and the New West Summit, a cannabis industry conference in San Francisco, said he created the games to change the perception of cannabis and those who use it for athletics.

There was no better proof of this than at the starting line of the 4.20 mile run along the Pacific Ocean, with hundreds of toned, healthy-looking athletes stretching, warming up with yoga, and medicating (outside the venue) before the run.

Ironically, due to the venue sitting squarely in a State Park zone, there was no partaking of cannabis at the event. Lagunitas Brewing Company set up shop for beer tasting, with the Santa Monica Police Department on hand, but the games concluded without a hint of trouble.


Former NFL player Kyle Turley (New Orleans Saints, St. Louis Rams, Kansas City Chiefs) took to the stage after the race to share his own stories of healing, along with other cannabis advocates, Reggie Williams (Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks), and Eben Britton (Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears).

“It’s been amazing to have professional athletes now calling me to get on board for the games,” McAlpine shared. “I’ve had Hall of Fame athletes in multiple sports asking how they can be part of this mission to educate on cannabis and sports.”


Next, Tracy Ryan, founder of Los Angeles-based Cannakids, an education-based non-profit supporting treating children with cannabis for serious ailments, shared her daughter Sophie’s journey with cancer, cannabis, recovery, and hope.

The Four-Twenty Games Village showcased product makers of remedies, merchandise, and offerings, such as:

  • High-end stash bags by Annabis
  • Sunning marketing materials by THC Design
  • Kyle Turley’s own Neuro Armour CBD products
  • The most beautiful hippie bus this writer has ever seen (sans the Grateful Dead’s Further) from Lola & Lola that was sporting farm-to-shelf products and flower, with alchemy in mind

Also at the event was a large skateboard ramp with the BMX Pros Trick Team who put on a great performance, while relay races kept the games going inside the village.

Meanwhile, Stock Pot Images’ Ophelia Chong set up a playful photo booth designed by Illustrator Ann Pickard, with acclaimed photographer Josh Vogel on-hand to take photos.

Kyle Turley and family proudly stood together for a photo, with his wife, Stacy, commenting on how nice it was to be able to bring the kids:

“There were so many athletes hiding there cannabis use,” McAlpine surmised. “I think the games have helped them come out of the canna-closet in a way that works for them. We get emails from people around the country thanking us and asking us to come to their state. It’s been extremely rewarding – and fun.”

The 420 Games are growing in the United States, with games planned in Portland, Denver, Boulder, San Francisco, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. For more information visit,

For great shots from the events, check out The 420 Games on Instagram.

The 420 Games Mandate:

The 420 Games were established to show that cannabis users are NOT lazy, unmotivated or stoners, and to de-stigmatize the millions who use cannabis in a healthy and responsible lifestyle.


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Written by Sharon Letts | Writer, Television Producer of Off the Beaten Path & Host of In and Out of the Garden

Profile Picture of Sharon Letts

Writer and Producer Sharon Letts began her life's work at age of 24 as a flower gardener in Southern California. Sharon produced and hosted visiting gardening show In and Out of the Garden for local television; then executive produced Off the Beaten Path, a travelogue in California for PBS. Today Sharon writes internationally for many publications, has published two works of fiction, and is currently developing intelligent TV shows on cannabis as medicine.

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