When 4/20 rolls around, one of three things is probably on revelers' minds: Where will I smoke today, how much will I smoke today, and will my job test me for drugs the next day? Though the origins of 4/20 are a little hazy, most stoners agree they don’t need a reason to smoke marijuana. Organized by the founders of the Miami music festival III Points, the fourth-annual III Joints party took place this past Saturday at the Freehand Hotel, and it was guaranteed that more than three joints were present for the festivities.
The Freehand Hotel sits on the corner of 28th Street and Indian Creek Drive in Miami Beach. There’s rarely any parking because the lot a block over is usually full, but that problem didn't stop potheads this 4/20. Through the double doors of the hotel entrance, a whiff of marijuana welcomed a flood of partiers to III Joints. The delightful aroma wafted across the lobby as regular hotel guests looked puzzled near the front desk, and stoners in freshly thrifted threads filled the space. A white flyer taped to the wall grabbed people’s attention. In big black letters, the sign read: "PoorGrrrl’s (t)hotboxx room 107 and Nick León’s ambient bedroom room 104."
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The (t)hotboxxx was the first room on the right. The room was small with a bunk bed set up on the right-hand side. Three flashing colorful lights welcomed guests, and the atmosphere made them stay. The activation setup was interactive, allowing guests to play a theremin, which looked like a vintage radio box. Once the knobs were turned and the long, shiny antenna was stroked, mysterious sounds exploded through the speakers. For musicians, the instrument was intriguing, but for those who possessed no musical talent, it was a challenge. A mike set up in the corner with the most soothing reverb topped off this musical experience. Guests didn’t waste any time smoking up the room as a projection from Instagram’s #thotty hashtag set the mood.
The stench of weed led down the hall and into León’s ambient bedroom. This room was much larger, with four bunk beds and a DJ setup on tables. The room featured local record label Space Tapes’ latest compilation on vinyl, Miami producer and DJ Nick León in the flesh, and kids napping in bunk beds after smoking their ninth joint. Space Tapes' Bear could be found near the DJ setup, tinkering with the knobs as soothing pulses echoed through the speakers.
From there, the marijuana aroma led guests outside toward the pool area, where the Garden Green stage was set up. Revelers holding a cocktail in one hand and cannabis vaporizers in the other chilled while Maccabi set the mood. No III Points party is complete without a disco ball, so organizers took the opportunity to string glittery globes across the lounge. David Sinopoli later joined Maccabi in a back-to-back set while a fan chanted the III Points cofounder's name.
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As the bar downstairs buzzed with guests, the party continued upstairs at the Up High at 27 stage, where girls danced to Nii Tei’s set. On the couch, a blonde sat with her legs crossed as she rolled up while her friend watched, looking slightly annoyed as if thinking, Roll that shit faster! Another partygoer whipped a preroll out of his jeans pocket but had forgotten to bring a lighter, so he wandered around the party asking for one. The music continued, drinks were poured, joints were lit, and the night was perfect.
You’d expect any 4/20 party to be filled with marijuana references, red-eyed revelers, and someone coming down off an edible. But III Joints was curated with exquisite taste and sensibility. The party allowed stoners to celebrate the holiday but didn’t exclude nonsmokers by going over-the-top. Though marijuana is still not legal for recreational purposes in Miami, it seemed everyone with a valid medical-weed card danced the night away under the disco balls and clouds of smoke during III Joints 2019.