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MA officials: If you celebrate pot holiday, do so responsibly

BOSTON — Massachusetts officials are calling on recreational marijuana users who plan to celebrate “420” to do so responsibly.

April 20th has for decades been recognized by pot enthusiasts as a counter-culture holiday of sorts. “420” became code for cannabis when a group of California students would meet at 4:20 p.m. to smoke. The term spread through fans of the Grateful Dead rock band and became entrenched in American subculture. But legalization in several states has brought 420 more into the mainstream lately.

While there are no known plans for large-scale celebrations in Massachusetts on Saturday, the state’s Cannabis Control Commission notes it’ll be the first occasion since licensed marijuana retail stores opened.

The commission, law enforcement officials and cannabis business organizations are reminding consumers — and pot shops — to know the law and act accordingly. Those laws prohibit driving under the influence of marijuana, using the drug in public places or selling it to minors.

The ride-sharing company Lyft is promoting itself as a safe option for cannabis users, with rides in Boston and other cities priced at $4.20. The promotion has the support of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association. “We’re proud to work alongside Lyft and their commitment to safer and more connected cities. And during busy nights and weekends like this, we urge Massachusetts market residents to choose a reliable ride option to get where they need to go without worry,” said Mark Leahy, Executive Director of the MCOPA.

Lawmakers in Rhode Island and Connecticut are currently considering whether to legalize recreational marijuana.

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