Sunday April 18, 2021
By Trevor Ross
The cannabis holiday 4/20 is upon us once again, and for the first time in over a year, many of us may safely gather with friends again to celebrate. But even if you can’t, you still want to make this the best 4/20 for you and yours. You’ve sent the invitations, baked the edibles, curated the playlist, and stocked up on munchies so everyone can smoke out and… and what? How do you make the most of your holiday?
Of course everyone loves a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity, or stoned Pictionary. The odd joint rolling tournament is always welcome. But if you’re looking to put a little kief on the festivities, check out some of these stoner selections and easy 4/20 party games.
4/20 Card and Board Games
Board and card games give us that nostalgic feeling of the parties of old. Settling in with some friends and good green, just enjoying each other's company. These are great for physical gatherings, but can often work in a virtual setting with just a little creative engineering.
First published in 1979, this card game has experienced a comeback in recent years as cannabis expands into new audiences. In Grass, 2-6 players peddle different kinds of marijuana at different values, racing to $250k in sales
However, to build your own revenue, you have to slow your opponents with penalties like “Paranoia” or putting the heat on them with “Search and Seizure.” In return, you may also “Steal your neighbor’s pot” or get “Euphoria” bonuses. A round lasts about a half hour, but the 250k limit is arbitrary, and can be adjusted up or down for game length.
Grass has undeniable vintage charm, but if you’d rather not glorify the illegal drug trade, the game Weed! is a similar concept. 2-4 players compete to grow the most weed, rather than sell it. Penalties still include getting hassled by the fuzz, but also extend to garden damage and pest control.
A second deck can be shuffled in to include an additional 4 players.
420 is a simple party game meant to keep the conversation flowing. Players target each other with cards suggesting actions like, “Sing a song you hate,” or “Turn off your phone until you earn a point.” There are also questions like, “Would you rather have sex with your grandma or a zombie?” Or they demand a story such as, “Tell the most disgusting joke you know,” though not all cards are vulgar.
If you complete the prompt, you get a point. If you refuse, the other player gets a point. Alternatively, the deck can move around the group and people can draw the challenges against themselves.
2-6 players draw from a deck collecting resources cards like “Weed” and “Good Music.” Cards calling for different goals then pass through the game, challenging players to collect the necessary combination of resources to complete the current goal. For instance, the goal “Ambiance” requires “Good Music + Mood Lighting.”
Cards are drawn to introduce new rules, so parameters shift as the game progresses. A round takes 30 minutes or less. For only $2, you can get a four-card expansion to make the game more versatile, and 5% of proceeds are donated to support the end of marijuana prohibition!
Jenga gets a special mention here because it is frequently repurposed as a 4/20 party game. Before the party, or with your friends, write creative instructions on each block. Make up your own rules like, “Take a bong hit,” “Fetch or find munchies,” or “Do a cartwheel,” or any other thing you want to subject your friends to. The game then ensues as normal, with players performing the tasks on the block as they complete each move.
Cannabis-Friendly Digital Party Games
Video games are great together, or across distances. They also scale well to an outdoor party with a projector screen or large TV. Consider including these digital games at your shindig.
Mario Kart / Mario Party
Some readers may write these off as obvious, but these classic titles should not be overlooked. In both Mario offerings, the various modes and short rounds provide an opportunity for people to participate as long or as little as they like, often with a rotating cast or participants. And the rounds usually provide plenty of humor and action for people who may just prefer to watch.
Jackbox is a package of digital party games available for $10 on almost every platform from Xbox and PlayStation, to Fire TV and the Android store. There are several good options, but the most popular game is Quiplash.
Players sync to the game with their phones and, similar to Cards Against Humanity, submit anonymous answers to absurd or provocative questions. The answers are then displayed on the TV or monitor, and players submit votes for their favorites, before the winning player is revealed.
Heads Up is another popular party game that only requires one phone and can accommodate any number of people. Teams can easily be drawn with smoking penalties and rewards made up on the spot.
CANNATIP: In this way, almost any game can be modified into a 4/20 game by exchanging points or spaces into puffs. A wide world of drinking games become available as well then, which should serve as a warning of what territory we’re in.
Caution Against Overconsumption
The goal of 4/20 is to celebrate cannabis and have a fun day, not to spend the afternoon shivering in a corner, or fixating nervously on your rapid heart rate. For your own comfort and safety, as well as that of others, take a few simple precautions to avoid overconsumption.
Overconsumption Avoidance Tips:
- Don’t take extra hits while gaming. If you’re playing a smoking game, resist those casual hits between turns or rounds. Besides, the whole point is to surrender to the game and let its chaos and blessings fall where they may.
- Imbibe consistently. It will be difficult to keep track of how much you’ve had if you’re mixing smoke, vapor, and edibles. Stick to one method if you can, to better account for consumption.
- Select low-THC options. There’s no prize at the end of 4/20. Come prepared for a marathon, not a sprint, and enjoy the day, rather than smoking yourself to sleep before 2 p.m. CBD ratio or Low-THC options can help mitigate.
And please remember there is still a pandemic raging. Limit the size of your parties, and connect virtually with other small groups doing the same. If possible, move your party outside. It’s also not too late to start building your immunity with a vaccine. The CDC has a VaccineFinder tool to help connect you to doses in your area! Celebrate responsibly this year to ensure a free and healthy 4/20 for years to come. Cheers.
What are your favorite games for 4/20? Share them in the comments and keep the party rolling!