Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

While it’s not yet on calendars, April 20 has become the unofficial holiday of marijuana, particularly in the growing number of states where pot has been decriminalized for recreational use. “It has become hugely celebrated,” says Brett Konen, an editor with Seattle-based Leafly.com, which calls itself the world’s largest cannabis information source. The Trump administration has indicated it may crack down on marijuana, but the industry continues to grow for now. Konen shares cannabis culture hotspots with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.

Statue of Louis Pasteur

San Rafael, Calif.

The story of 420 can be traced to a statue on the San Rafael High School campus in the San Francisco Bay area. In 1971, a group of students planned to meet there at 4:20 p.m., and search for a marijuana patch believed to be growing in the area. 420 became their code word for pot, and the rest is history, Konen says. “It has become a concept and a phenomenon and a holiday.” visitmarin.org

Trump Park Avenue

New York

While there’s no historic marker, this Upper East Side building, now owned by Donald Trump, is where pop music changed forever. On Aug. 28, 1964, Bob Dylan visited the Beatles in what was then the Delmonico Hotel, and introduced them to marijuana. “They were hanging out and waiting for wine to be delivered, and Bob Dylan suggested they light up,” Konen says. The building, at 502 Park Ave., now holds condominiums. gonyc.com

Drug Enforcement Administration Museum & Visitors Center

Arlington, Va.

Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, as the DEA museum had made clear in exhibits like “Cannabis, Coca, & Poppy: Nature’s Addictive Plants.” The plant, the museum notes, is the only major illegal drug grown within the country. “It’s a fascinating part of the history, and it’s important to see both sides,” Konen says. deamuseum.org

Haight-Ashbury

San Francisco

The famed street corner was the epicenter for the Summer of Love, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Even now visitors will find trippy murals, head shops and hemp-clothing vendors. “It’s ground zero for the hippie culture,” Konen says. sanfrancisco.travel

Top Notch Hamburgers

Austin

If you get the munchies in Austin, there’s no better place to visit than this old-fashioned burger joint. The ’70s throwback was featured in the film, Dazed and Confused, which Konen calls “a cult classic of the cannabis comedy genre.” topnotchaustin.com

Mile 419.99

Stratton, Colo.

With Colorado fully embracing cannabis, perhaps it’s no surprise that Interstate 70’s 420 mile marker near the Kansas border kept disappearing. In a moment of stoner insight, the state transportation department came up with a solution, moving the post up one-hundredth of a mile, and renaming it Mile 419.99. “Though it hasn’t deterred thieves completely, it has minimized the issue,” Konen says. colorado.com

Venice Beach Boardwalk

Los Angeles

This Pacific Coast walkway can be a tie-dye freak show, but it makes the list because it’s where cannabis activist Jack Herer in the 1980s became one of the first to advocate legalizing pot. He would hawk his self-published book The Emperor Wears No Clothes, describing what he believed to be the folly of criminalizing marijuana. “He would talk to anyone that would listen,” Konen says. discoverlosangeles.com

Pedal Bike Portland Pot Tour, Ore.

Bike your way through the city’s hipster world of weed, visiting dispensaries and head shops, and learning about the Pacific Northwest’s long relationship with cannabis. The 11-mile tour includes a bike, helmet, snacks and suggested pot pairings. Guests also receive a joint of local marijuana, although it’s not meant to be consumed on the tour. pedalbiketours.com

Denver

Since voting to decriminalize marijuana in 2012, the Mile High City has become the nation’s capital of cannabis. Today visitors face a dizzying array of options from farm-to-table dinners paired with pot, to Loopr, a 420-friendly bus that travels from dispensary to dispensary. There are also painting and pottery studios for artists under the influence, and classes teaching the twin arts of rolling joints and sushi. “They are kind of offering their city and state up as a testing ground for legal cannabis,” Konen says. “It’s really becoming a normal thing there.” denver.org

Hempfest

Seattle

Although it’s not held on 4/20, this self-described three-day “Protestival” calls itself the world’s largest cannabis convocation. Held every August on the Seattle waterfront, the free-speech event brings together smokers, high-profile speakers and policy buffs. “It’s pretty impressive to see. It’s really about advocacy, and less about cannabis consumption,” Konen says. hempfest.org

Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/2pAnGMK