Last night as I waited in front of Boulevard 3 to be admitted to the High Times + Tidal X 420 celebration, I amused myself by listening to the various discussions going on between the staff members.
I had been told the event was sold out, and to get there early to ensure I got in. Knowing how crazy Hollywood can get with both traffic and parking, and afraid I might die of boredom at my previous 420 celebrations, I now found myself a half hour early to this event, and the first VIP in line for entrance.
For those who aren’t familiar with it, Boulevard 3 is a very upscale place. It’s the kind of sleek, Hollywood chic nightclub venue that you might see in some action or spy movie, complete with a haze-filled, sunken ballroom with a floor to ceiling video screen flashing images to the beat of the music. It even has a fire inside the reflecting pool that adorns the courtyard.
As I sat on a low wall facing Santa Monica Boulevard, awaiting entrance to my very first officially public Cannabis party, I overheard the bouncers having a discussion as to the dress code, and whether or not to admit people dressed in shorts, baseball hats, visible tattoos, tennis shoes, and the list goes on. Everything he mentioned would have prevented the first ten VIPs in line from entering the event, including myself. I have knee and back injuries and don’t do well without the gel cushioning in my Sauconys. Since I was starving and the smell of the appetizers was twisting my stomach up in knots, I was really praying that the verdict, at least on the tennis shoes, was “let ‘em all in.”
It was, of course. Turning away those who didn’t meet the normal dress code for that club would have meant turning away the majority of attendees. Cannabis devotees are very down to Earth and diverse bunch who tend to renegade their way through life, dress codes be damned. That guy wearing cargo shorts and black baseball hat is just as likely to be the CEO, CTO, or CFO of a Cannabis company as he is to be one of the rank and file fans of High Times and Damien Marley, Jr.
The irony of it was not lost on many of us at the party. The topic came up three times, in three separate conversations with three different people. We concluded it was a silent, subtle victory for our cause, but a victory, nevertheless. The citadel of social elitism that is Boulevard 3 has their bouncers so well trained that they took one look at us—the VIPS, no less—and questioned our right to enter that club. They didn’t get that this Industry was founded on sharing and inclusivity.
This diverse group of people, coming together in such a bastion of exclusivity, was a testament to how far this industry had come, and how far we still need to go.
Last night, people of all ages (over 21 of course), all races, all economic backgrounds, and all political opinions showed up to share their support for this plant and our rights as individual adults to consume it. I partied with Cannabis entrepreneurs, music industry executives, advocates to end Cannabis prohibition, Republicans, Democrats, Rastafarians, conspiracy theorists, artists, musicians, travel commentators, construction workers, patients rights advocates, and much much more. It was a wonderful experience, interacting with so many happy, mellow, interesting people, all drawn together to celebrate the symbolism of 420.
This single plant has the potential to get us all talking to one another, whether Democrat, Republican or Independent because there is nothing quite so democratizing as Cannabis.