If we weren’t in quarantine, we’d likely spend Monday gathering in discreet places around campus to celebrate 4/20.
This year is different, for obvious reasons. Although you can’t be with your friends to recognize the unofficial holiday and your stash might be running low, we want to honor the spirit of 4/20. Five students, who spoke under the condition of anonymity because they were below the legal age in D.C. to possess and smoke marijuana, shared stories from their past 4/20 experiences.
Enjoy laughing, cringing or envying your peers’ THC-induced stories.
On an empty stomach during 4/20 last year, a then-freshman scarfed down a cannabis cookie with eight of her friends before taking a walk to Georgetown. She said it was one of her first experiences with weed, and she immediately knew she had made a mistake when she began to lose feeling in most of her body and felt like she couldn’t open her eyes.
“I ate the whole thing and I knew it wasn’t right – I shouldn’t have done it,” the student, now a sophomore, said.
Her friends were on a mission to stargaze at Book Hill Park, which is located a half a mile up on Wisconsin Avenue. But she said a friend decided hanging out at the park at night was not the best idea while high, so the group ducked into the nearest restaurant, &pizza, to satisfy some late-night munchies.
By that point, she and a friend seemed to be handling the edible much worse than the rest of the group. The friend said she could “see the panic” in the student’s eyes, and she felt “unsettled” in &pizza because the music seemed to be playing loudly.
“Obviously we were not having a good trip,” her friend said. “But it got so much more elevated when we were in &Pizza, and I attribute it to the music they were playing.”
Being honest with law enforcement is sometimes your best bet to avoid trouble, as one junior discovered after a GW Police Department officer interrupted last year’s 4/20 celebration.
The junior said he and two friends decided to smoke in the main area of his Guthridge Hall room, where he lived sophomore year. But 10 minutes into the festivity, the student said they heard a knock on the door from GWPD.
He immediately fessed up to the officer about the weed but explained to the officer that he has a medicinal marijuana prescription to treat a neurological condition. The student showed GWPD his medical card, at which point the officer asked him to flush away his remaining herb down the toilet.
“It was just a little bit, but it was still worth a lot of money,” he said.
After the officer left the room for a few minutes, he said the officer returned with a brown bag. The officer placed the student’s bong in the bag, brought him and his friend to the residence hall basement and stomped on it, smashing the $70 glass paraphernalia.
“I was terrified, I thought he was taking me to more GWPD officers where I was going to get yelled at and fined,” the student said. “When it was finally just shards, he handed me the bag and just said, ‘Don’t smoke in your room again.’ And that was it. He walked off.”
Knowing he got off lucky, the student said he returned to only discreetly smoking from his room’s bathroom. He said he thought the officer was “really understanding” and was glad he wasn’t fined.
“I was a sophomore when this happened, not some edgy Thurston freshman, so I feel [the officer] wasn’t as concerned,” he said.
For one junior whose high school senior prom happened to land on 4/20, a night of blazed teenagers led the banquet hall to ban the school from using its property again.
To alleviate stress as finals and Advanced Placement exams approached, the student said the leaders of the school’s student organizations created a pact to all eat a “very strong” rice crispy treat just before their prom. They bought the edibles from a friend, he said.
“Everyone from the quarterback of the football team to the president of the foosball club, we all popped a rice crispy treat,” he said.
As president of his school’s model United Nations team, he said he was “obliged” to try an edible for the first time. Although the night was overall a big blur to him, the student said there were certain moments he remembered, like when his friend challenged their 70-year-old teacher to a dance battle.
But the student said things took a turn for the worse when his other inexperienced friend “decided it would be funny” to smash open the men’s bathroom window.
“He then proceeded to climb down the façade of the building and do “the dougie” dance in the middle of the parking lot, where he almost got hit by a car much to the amusement of us spectators in the bathroom,” he said.
Although the school never punished the high schoolers, the junior said his class’ student body president told him the banquet hall had sent them notice to not book with them for future events.
“It was my first and last edible,” he said.
Cannabis dinner party
A now-senior recalled a 4/20 experience at the end of his sophomore year, when he gave his friends a three-course cannabis-infused meal.
The student said he and a friend sent out a message inviting their fraternity and a couple other friends to enjoy a 4/20 dinner.
After buying two ounces of weed, they went to an off-campus Dupont Circle fraternity house and made their own “cannabutter.” The pair cooked a mac & cheese grilled cheese appetizer, chicken and waffle entree and caramel, walnut-covered brownie dessert in the house to 20 of their friends, free of charge.
“We got to cook a three-course meal that was entirely edible sponsored by weed that was bought at GW, of course,” he said. “There were just a lot of 4/20 miracles that happened that made that meal go perfectly.”
This article appeared in the April 20, 2020 issue of the Hatchet.