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

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. 

Missing Attachment 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.

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.

Missing Attachment Here in Silicon Valley, the stories sound all too familiar: a husband and wife starting a company in their cramped kitchen, or two friends setting up shop in a Palo Alto garage, before seeking out millions from wealthy investors. It’s why some venture capitalists are now saying cannabis is “the new tech.”

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.

Missing Attachment Brush fire burns in South San Jose.

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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