This year’s 420 Games may be launching April 1, but they’re far from an April Fools joke.  

If anything, organizers of the second annual athletic event are more serious than ever about their goal of challenging the stereotype that cannabis consumers are lazy and unmotivated.

"The 420 Games were created to emphasize that highly functional people, even professional athletes, use cannabis and are hardly the lazy stoners the world has portrayed,” said 420 Games founder Jim McAlpine in a statement.

“Millions of athletes and responsible people use cannabis. From average Joes through the professional ranks of all sports, many, many athletes use cannabis as a successful part of their athletic and fit lifestyle.”

This 2017 tour of the 420 Games will launch in Santa Monica on April 1 with a 4.2 mile run from the Santa Monica Pier. Several NFL players (including Kyle Turley, Eben Britton, Boo Williiams and Nate Jackson) along with XGames athletes and yoga instructors, will be on-deck for the day.

Several companies will also be on site to offer attendees the opportunity to obtain a medical cannabis evaluation and recommendation. 

“We want people to think of Michael Phelps or yoga classes when they think of marijuana, not Jeff Spicoli or the High Times Cup,” said McAlpine, adding that event participants are asked not to smoke cannabis on site.

“This is all about changing perceptions and we don’t want the outside looking in seeing clouds of smoke over our heads, literally or figuratively.”

The event is the first of six slated for the 2017 season, with plans to move on through California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Nevada in the months to come.  And while you're at it, check out the history of 420.

Civilized readers can get one of a limited number of free tickets for the April 1 event here.

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Banner image: Larry Gassan Photography / 420 Games LA 2016