Marijuana in Google Maps

by Chris Silver Smith

Today is April 20, known as “420” in pro-cannabis circles — a day in which pot-smoking is celebrated in a number of places around the United States. So, I wondered if there were any user-generated maps of 420 party locations findable in Google Maps (only out of intellectual curiosity!). While I couldn’t find any 420 parties there, I did find maps pinpointing places where one can purchase marijuana, such as this map created by HIGH TIMES Magazine:

Places To Buy Medical Marijuana In Google Maps

Of course the locations are for people interested in medical marijuana. A cursory search for places to buy illegal drugs didn’t immediately turn up anything, although I’m mildly surprised that enterprising drug sellers haven’t thought of creating custom maps in Google to promote places where people can buy it.

Certainly the police know how to use Google Maps as well, and one might expect they’d clue into map promotion of drug seller locations pretty quickly and sting them.

If you’re wondering, I don’t think it’s illegal to map locations of where to buy medical marijuana, or even illegal drugs. It probably isn’t against Google Maps’ terms and conditions of use, either.

It’s unsurprising that 420-related terms are spiking in search today. Google Trends reports that the phrase “420 meaning” has a “Hotness” of “On Fire” at the moment, and they also list “April 20th” as another top-ten search phrase today:

420 Meaning phrase spiking according to Google Trends

Google Trends also reports other related searches as: “4/20”, “420”, “april 20th weed day”, “april 20”, and “4 20”. I’m thinking that medical marijuana dispensary/pharmacy websites could have successfully leveraged the search spikes, particularly within Google Maps, if they had targed content to these phrases. But, do they really need to? Their customers likely seek them out via word-of-mouth marketing and via social media.

As for 420 celebration locations, supporters likely already know where the main locations are, since they’ve been well-publicized on pro-marijuana sites for quite some time. Or, perhaps heavier cannabis users find it technically challenging to create custom maps?  😉


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6 Responses to “Marijuana in Google Maps”

  1. Mike Ramsey says:


    Funny findings and it looks like your out of luck in texas 😉

  2. Jami Broom says:

    I wonder why Google didn’t change their logo to incorporate a little cannabis leaf. ?

  3. Silver says:

    Mike, I feel somehow certain that Willy Nelson must be attending some 420 party in the Austin area!

    Jami – I agree – it’s surprising Google didn’t do a special logo for it, isn’t it?

  4. Stever says:

    The heavy pot smokers don’t have a hard time building custom maps, the opposite in fact, the tightly zoned focus would make for very detailed maps, for as long as they could maintain that one train of thought at least.

    Being located in British Columbia (bc bud) the high grade weed will be readily available every where on this 420 day. Oh wait, it’s readily available here every day.

  5. […] part of National Weed Day at Google included an expansion They expanded the cities in which businesses can take part in the […]

  6. Nyagoslav says:

    Chris, actually it would be against Maps’ TOS to create My Places for locations where one could find non-medical marijuana:

    “By way of example, and not as a limitation, you agree that when using the Products or the Content, you will not:

    (l) promote or provide instructional information about illegal activities”