Thursday, February 24, 2011

Top 5 Drug-Friendly Events in the U.S.

Okay, so the title's a little misleading.  With the exception of #2 on the list, none of these events allow drug use...technically.  Of course, not everyone who goes to these mind-blowing gatherings uses drugs, but for those who do, these 5 life-changing events are the height of hippiedom, the Mecca of moreishness,  the pentacle of COOL, man.  Read on.   


Created in 1991, this 3-day, 8-stage music festival takes place in Chicago during the summer months.  Attractions include live comedy and dance performances, political/non-profit groups and all the music your ear drums can withstand.  Past performers include Cypress Hill, Beastie Boys, 311, Kanye West, Radiohead, Snoop Dogg, Tool, Kid Cudi, Eminem, the Black Keys, Soundgarden and Metallica.


Founded in 2002, this 4-day music blowout takes place on a 700-acre field in Tennessee.  Includes a barrage of food and drink vendors, unique crafts and a giant ferris wheel.  Alumni include Jurassic 5, Tori Amos, Weezer, Bassnectar, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Jay-Z, deadmau5, Dave Matthews Band, Stevie Wonder, Norah Jones, Jimmy Cliff and the Marley Brothers. 

#3--Rainbow Gathering. 

Founded in 1972, this seven-day campout takes place on National Forest lands across the U.S. and has hosted up to 30,000 attendees in a single year.  Activities include a silent meditation on the 4th of July and plenty of other impromptu happenings.   This non-commercial counterculture event is one of the few in which alcohol use is not permitted except in designated areas.  Imagine that.

#2--Cannabis Cup. 

The first High Times Cannabis Cup took place in 1987 and recurs annually in Amsterdam each November.  For a fee, attendees pay to be "judges," earning the right to sample hundreds of strains of marijuana and hash as well as the latest paraphernalia.  Features comedy, live music and plenty of other blissed-out revelry.  The Cup has grown in recent years, with an all-time "high" of 2,300 judges attending in 2008.

#1--Burning Man. 

Set in the harsh climate of Nevada's Black Rock Desert, this week-long blowout has it all--crazy costumes, Transformer-esque art cars, 24-hour music and nudity.  Lots of nudity.  Drugs are like currency, being "gifted" in exchange for food, clothes and of course, other drugs.  The "Man" is ceremoniously burned on the second-to-last night, followed by the Temple Burn on the event's final evening.  Since its creation in 1986, Burning Man has grown legendary proportions, with over 51,000 attendees in 2010 alone.  Its motto of "radical self-reliance" is taken very seriously by Burners, who take extra care to pick up after themselves and "leave no trace".  In Mary's opinion, Burning Man is one event all drug enthusiasts should experience before they go to that big ganja field in the sky. 

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