At the age of 81 and having survived a bout with prostate cancer, marijuana icon Tommy Chong meets the definition of someone the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers "vulnerable" to the coronavirus. But at p. Like many cannabis connoisseurs, Chong, who along with his comedic sidekick Cheech Marin rose to pot prominence with a series of "Cheech and Chong" movies in the s, will be taking his activities online this year.
Other than helping to launch the app, Chong said he doesn't plan on doing much more than he has been doing while under stay-at-home orders. Asked if he could share any insight on the pandemic, Chong said, "It's a time out for the human race. If scientist weren't so busy looking to cure the coronavirus, they might do contact tracing to find the origins of the expression and how it grew into a worldwide phenomenon.
Infive buddies at San Rafael High School in Northern California coined the term long before it was deated a special day on the calendar. Now middle-aged and in professions ranging from independent filmmaker to wine salesman, Larry Schwartz, Steve Capper, Jeff Noel, Mark Gravitch and Dave Reddix still refer to each other as the "Waldos," a name taken from a low wall on their high school campus where they would meet at p.
For the first time in years, the Waldos will not be physically together to celebrate on Monday, they told ABC News during a conference call from their various lockdown sites. It was one of their first "safaris" that became the catalyst for the term, they said.
Caper said a pal handed him a map to a marijuana patch being grown by a group of Coast Guardsmen in Point Reyes, Marin County, who wanted to get rid of it before their commanding officer busted them. The Waldos gladly took the map and made plans to meet at the school's Louie Pasteur statue when all their school activities were over at p.
But the location of the secret patch proved elusive, so the treasure hunt continued. And as the weeks went by, they would remind each other in the school hallways to meet after school at the deated time. Noel said became a code that allowed them to keep their then-illegal activities from adults, particularly his father, who was a state narcotics agent.
From there, Reddix said the term spread to the band the Grateful Dead. He said his brother, Patrick Reddix, who he says died from cancer in at p. Reddix said his brother hired him to be a roadie for Lesh's band. Capper said that it wasn't until the s that he realized the term had taken on a life of its own, and had been commercialized with bumper stickers, T-shirts and hats.
He said that inhe contacted Steve Hager, then the editor of High Times magazine, to inform him the Waldos were the originators of Skeptical, Hager traveled to California to see the Waldos' evidence, which included a flag one of their friends made in the early s and letters with postmarks from the early s in which they referenced Hager wrote an article that appeared in the December edition of High Timessolidifying the Waldos as the originators of the term. While the Waldos won't physically be together for the celebration, they will toke up virtually and appear together on a of online programs.
Capper said this year's celebration is more special than ever.
He said that normally onHarborside's dispensaries would offer special deals and have entertainment in the parking lots of its shops. DeAngelo, 61, who co-founded Harborside Health Center in as one of California's first cannabis dispensaries after state voters legalized medical marijuana insaid that this year's celebration is also a time to lament some of the traditions of pot-smoking he believes will fade away in the wake of coronavirus, like sharing a bong or a t.
Looking on the bright side of things, DeAngelo, whose birth certificate indicates he was born at p.
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This year I get to go to a dozen different parties," DeAngelo said. I will be at the Great American Smoke Sash gathering. I will be at the Chronic Relief gathering.
I will be doing something with a platform called Miss Grass. In mid-March, as cities across the country began to impose stay-at-home orders, cannabis dispensaries saw a sharp spike in business.
Some members of the legal cannabis industry have ed forces to give back to their communities on In Colorado, Friends in Weed, a consortium of cannabis businesses, has issued a challenge dubbed Help that began over the weekend to raise money for Gov. Organizers are also encouraging people to support their favorite dispensary's "budtenders" by providing them gift cards to local restaurants and small businesses. Raven Guillmette, who manages the Higher Grade medical marijuana dispensary in Denver, said her store was among those to contribute to the fund.
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We're just treating it like a regular day this year. Usually, everybody gets dressed up, we'll go out that night to a concert, maybe do some kind of t giveaways.
It's just nice to see we're helping local businesses and they're willing to help us. Tune into ABC at 1 p.
'it's about being well': cannabis shops thrive as 'essential businesses' in coronavirus pandemic
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