The wonderful pothead holiday "4/20" lit up the town today. I headed to the Children's Playground in Downtown Chico to find some people taking part in smoking hash, weed, marijuana... or whatever "street" name you would like to give the substance. When covering a type of story that has such a controversial history, it always pays to be cautious. I can't run in cameras firing snapping away at anyone I see. I have to build a relationship to the subjects in order for them to allow me into their story. I saw a group of men sitting on a bench. With the cameras at my side I approached them after I noticed them smoking. I told them who I was and if it was alright for me to take pictures of them and what they were doing. Most of the men said, not me, or "I'm on probation."
A man who went by the name of Soko, 26, takes a hit of marijuana around 4:20pm at Children's Playground on Tuesday, April 20, 2010 in Chico, Calif. The time 4:20 on 4/20, makes for a big pot smoking day. (Jason Halley/Chico Enterprise-Record)
There was one man who said it was OK for me to take pictures of him. I did. It went quick. They didn't have much and I was only able to snap off one hit that he took. After I took the pictures the other man said he had to go. He was going to save the rest for later. I continued talking to the men, and asked if I could have the name of the man I took a picture of. He said. "Yeah, my name is Soko." I asked if I could have his last name to which he replied, "Every knows me as just, Soko." So, that was it. It was an interesting conversation I had with the 26 year old who said he'd been smoking marijuana for the last 10 years. He meets so many people in Children's Playground that have such diverse life stories. And here I was, talking to such a man, with a diverse life story.