420 in San Francisco: Thousands Have a High Time at Hippie Hill - NBC Bay Area
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Marijuana in the Golden State and beyond

420 in San Francisco: Thousands Have a High Time at Hippie Hill

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    420 in SF: Thousands Have a High Time at Hippie Hill

    At least 19,000 people were at Robin Williams Meadow in Golden Gate Park Saturday as San Francisco celebrates the annual, unofficial holiday for marijuana. Christie Smith reports.

    (Published Saturday, April 20, 2019)

    The grass at Robin Williams Meadow in Golden Gate Park was a little greener Saturday as San Francisco celebrates the annual, unofficial holiday for marijuana.

    Joints, blunts and vape pens were passed around by at least 19,000 attendees at Hippie Hill as they participate in a long tradition of smoking pot at the park on 4/20, but it's only the second year since California legalized recreational marijuana. 

    RAW: Thousands Gather for 420 on Hippie Hill in San FranciscoRAW: Thousands Gather for 420 on Hippie Hill in San Francisco

    Joints, blunts and vape pens were passed around by at least 13,000 attendees at Hippie Hill as they participate in a long tradition of smoking pot at the park on 4/20, but it's only the second year since California legalized recreational marijuana.

    (Published Saturday, April 20, 2019)

    Park officials were expecting a large crowd at the adults-only event and worked with law enforcement to set up security around the area. Tamara Barak Aparton, spokeswoman for the city Recreation and Park Department, said celebrations have been "pretty mellow."

    There have been seven arrests as of 6 p.m., and three were made before the event began for arrest warrants and trespassing, according to Officer Robert Rueca.

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    (Published Thursday, April 18, 2019)

    The remaining arrest was theft-related, and there was one medical transport for conditions that are not life-threatening, Aparton said.

    While consuming weed in public is illegal, city officials make an exception on April 20 and allow residents and visitors to get high out in the open but withint the gated area. But it's BYOW, bring your own weed, because sales of marijuana products aren't allowed during the event.

    Last year, police said between 10 and 12 people overdosed on fentanyl after purchasing black market marijuana that was laced with the drug. Attendees this year were encouraged to purchase pot legally from licensed dispensaries.

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    (Published Friday, April 20, 2018)

    San Francisco police are providing extra officers throughout the area, both uniformed and plainclothes. Additionally, paramedics will be on hand.

    Both police and paramedics will be equipped with Narcan, which can reverse the effects of opioid overdoses, officials said.

    Traffic closures are in place around the park and the event will conclude at 5 p.m. The park will then be closed off for cleaning.

    How the marijuana-loving world came to mark the occasion is believed traceable to five Northern California men. They are the unofficial grandmasters by virtue of the code they created nearly 50 years ago as students at a suburban San Francisco high school in 1971.

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