Stoner legend has it that the meaning behind the digits 4-2-0 supposedly "stems" from a Californian police code by the same number, which signified "pot smoking in progress." Is it true? Who knows? Figuring that out would take a lot of effort and totally go against the spirit of the day, so we're just going to accept that explanation, get high, and watch some movies.
The best stoner flicks are not a "one-size-fits-all" type deal. It "highly" depends on the viewer and the type of herb he or she is smoking. A pothead smoking a bag of schwag he picked up from a dealer who doubles as the cashier at the McDonald's drive-thru may be content to watch Friday or Half Baked for the 50th time. He may also be content to watch an infomercial about an innovative new tool for chopping garlic.
But we think this special day deserves a movie selection with a little more thought and creativity. Behold our hand-rolled movie list below, complete with specifics on what type of weed to pair it with.
1. Water: The Great Mystery
For those smoking mellow, cerebral weed that doesn't completely destroy the attention span.
This "documentary" about water concludes that water is sensitive to human emotions, changes its form when it's yelled at harshly, and can be purified when the potential drinker simply takes the time to thank it. It includes "studies" that show that water molecules line up in nice crystalline patterns when Mozart is played, but fall into scattered, asymmetrical and ugly forms when made to listen to screaming noise music. The science in this doc is either flawed or not present, but if you get stoned enough, you can forget all that and prepare to have your eyes opened wide, despite the cheeched out effects of the pot. By the end of it, you'll be curled up on your favorite bean bag chair, cooing in wonder at a cup of water like it was your lover.
This 1941 Disney classic is best when the weed you're smoking is the strong, borderline psychedelic sort.
You may not have seen Dumbo since you were a kid. If you haven't, you're in for the ride of your life. We only wish we could get some of the stuff the animators were toking on when they drew the fantastic "pink elephants" scene above.
3. The Forbidden Zone
For when your high has transported you to the sixth dimension.
This is arguably one of the weirdest movies ever made, so make sure to reserve it for a truly wacky weed. The film was shot in black and white in the 1980s. Its characters have names like Frenchy Hercules, King Fausto, and Squeezit, and include a "princess" who spends the entire movie topless and a frog-headed butler who gets kicked in the nads and runs off a cliff. Basically, the movie is about the very weird Hercules family and their unique house, which includes a portal to the even freakier "forbidden zone" in the cellar. Oh, and it's a musical.
4. The DVD that came with the ultimate Frisbee you bought a while back
For when you're feeling both stoned and energetic.
Remember when you were looking for a Frisbee and the only one The Sports Authority had available came with a DVD? Of course you tossed it in some forgotten drawer, but now that you're stoned on the day of stoners, it's an appropriate time to watch it. (It's also the only appropriate time to watch it.) You'll laugh as you discover Frisbee terms that sound like venereal diseases, such as the "clap catch" and the "crab catch." And then you'll get to test your new skills out on the lawn.
5. Super Troopers
For when you just smoked a fat blunt and/or hot-boxed a car.
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All right "meow," it's time to fire up a modern stoner classic and laugh until you pass out from oxygen deprivation. When you're stupid high and your red eyes are peering out through tiny little slits, it's time to pop this one on the telly and start laughing with your friends as the adorably incompetent Vermont state troopers pull hilarious pranks and screw everything up over and over again. Other classic options include Cheech and Chong's 1978 masterpiece, Up in Smoke, the 1935 classic anti-pot propaganda flick ;Reefer Madness, and the modern favorite, Dude Where's My Car?.
Stuff that in your bowl and smoke it.