When the The 420 Games were founded in 2014, the aim was to show the world that cannabis users are far more than just "lazy stoners." They're responsible consumers that use cannabis as a tool in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In just two years, the cannabis-friendly athletic events have exploded into a multi-city tour with thousands of participants.
The 420 Games is also actively involved in supporting worthy community initiatives. For the second year in a row, it's raising money for the AIDS Walk on July 17 at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, and the cannabis community has been incredibly supportive through donations and participation in the event, says 420 Games founder Jim McAlpine.
"I got involved for my first time last year, and it was an amazing experience," McAlpine tells Civilized.
In 2015, he was one of the top fundraisers, raising $22,000 personally for the cause, and an approximately $60,000 from Team Cannabis. "[We raised] more money as an organization than the big players like Facebook and Salesforce. It's impressive that would could do that."
McAlpine credits the gay movement for paving the way for the legalization of cannabis use.
"It's the 20th anniversary of medical being legalized, and California was the first state to do that," says McAlpine. "The whole reason that marijuana became legal through the medical system is because of the gay movement.There are parallels between the fight we're fighting and what the gay community has been through. They've helped us get where we are."
Since 1987, AIDS Walk San Francisco has raised $86-million for HIV programs and services, and has become the largest AIDS fundraising event in Northern California.
This year, proceeds will be donated to Project Inform, the pioneering HIV/AIDS treatment centre Ward 86 at San Francisco General Hospital, as well as Project Open Hand, which provides meals to senior citizens and the critically ill.
Last year, 20,000 participants raised nearly $2.3-million for local AIDS service organizations.
Photo credit: Flickr user Jere Keys