Video: Thousands descend on Hippie Hill for 420 celebration



SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Thousands sent up a cheer and a collective plume of marijuana smoke at the stroke of 4:20 p.m. Wednesday in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

They gathered at the park’s “Hippie Hill” to toke up, eat and drink the afternoon away into the night.

A plane dragging a banner encouraging attendees to “smoke weed” circled overhead, while unlicensed vendors set up tables and makeshift tents to sell all types and strains of bud, not to mention T-shirts, pipes and food.

This year’s celebrations of all things marijuana throughout the U.S. come amid loosening restrictions and increasing tolerance for the plant’s use from Alaska to Massachusetts.

Fans of the drug have long marked April 20 as a day to roll weed or munch on pot-laced brownies and call for increased legal access to it.

And this year, the San Francisco Police Department will be out in full force on Wednesday to ensure the safety of the park and the community.

Police warned that uniformed and plainclothes officers will be increased, as will park rangers and juvenile probation officers.420

Streets around the park will be closed and traffic and parking control officers will be actively ticketing and towing vehicles illegally parked in residential and commercial areas.

Littering has been an issue in years past. Police are asking people to be extra cautious and to clean up after themselves. They will be providing extra portable toilets and garbage cans at the park.

Authorities will also be cracking down on any unpermitted booths and concessions.

Last year, five arrested were made at the park: one for assault with a deadly weapon for hitting someone on the head with a bottle, two more for outstanding warrants, and two for intoxication.

Police are also reminding people that driving while under the influence of any drug, including marijuana, is illegal.

San Francisco police said that five arrests were made during the festival on Wednesday. Three of those were for outstanding warrants.

There were also a few minor injuries, including a broken arm, but overall, the event was very peaceful, police said.

Streets to be affected by closures include Haight, Page and Waller streets between Masonic and Stanyan streets; Stanyan between Frederick and Oak streets; Shrader Street between Beulah and Waller streets; Oak and Waller streets at Ashbury, Clayton, Shrader, Cole and Belvedere streets; Frederick at Shrader and Beulah at Shrader and Cole. Additional street closures may occur if police determine they are necessary for public safety.

Muni lines will also be affected starting around 3 p.m., including the N-Judah, NX-N Express, 6-Parnassus, 7-Haight/Noriega, 7R-Haight/Noriega Rapid, 33-Ashbury/18th, 37-Corbett and 43-Masonic.


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