Marijuana Games 420 san fransisco
Runners take off in a 4.2-mile run, part of the 420 Games, an effort to stop the stigmatization of cannabis use through athletic events, at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco on Aug. 15, 2015.  Olga Rodriguez—AP

These '420 Games' Athletes Want to Change the Perception of Weed

Aug 16, 2015

Participants in this year's 420 Games in San Francisco rose bright and early Saturday morning for a 4.2-mile run—but some toked up first.

High performance athletes don't sound like the typical marijuana users, and that's the point.

The race and accompanying events were planned to change perceptions of marijuana and the people who consume it. Even as legal barriers to marijuana use continue to fall, stigma surrounding its use remain pervasive, according to the Games' website.

"The 420 Games participants are not ‘stoners,'" said Jim McAlpine, the event's founder on its website. "The 420 Games are sporting events, NOT ‘smoke ins’."

Among the participants at the games were retired athletes who said that marijuana has helped them cope with painful injuries.

“There is a lot of wear and tear playing football and fighting professionally,” Kyle Kingsbury, a retired mixed martial arts fighter, told the San Fransisco Chronicle “But pain management is something everyone in the world has to deal with, not just me.”

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