Saturday | April 25, 2015
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Official tells pot smokers: Keep 4/20 chill on Hippie Hill

SAN FRANCISCO — Golden Gate Park’s Hippie Hill is famous for the wafting aroma of marijuana just about any day of the week.

But today is 4/20, and to those in the know that’s code for “light up the ganja.”

It also happens to be Easter, and officials fear a repeat of last year’s massive daylong party that culminated in a crowd-sourced haze at 4:20 p.m. But it wasn’t finished, as brain-fogged crowds flocked out of the park into the Haight district and as far as Hayes Valley.

There were only a few arrests, but property was damaged and streets so clogged buses came to a near standstill.

Furthermore, Recreation and Parks Department staff and volunteers the following day gathered up more than 10,000 pounds of litter. (April 22 is Earth Day. So, not cool.)

Since the party does not have a permit or designated sponsor, there was no one to be kept accountable.

This year, the cannabis holiday also falls on a weekend.

But San Francisco Supervisor London Breed, whose district includes the eastern edge of the park and the affected neighborhoods, crafted a plan to keep the event in order.

Or at least more so.

On Wednesday, she had a news conference with San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr and two of his captains, Juvenile Probation Chief Allen Nance and Recreation and Parks General Manager Phil Ginsburg, to lay it out.

Uniformed and plainclothes officers along with juvenile probation officers will be in higher supply, Breed warned, cracking down on “all code violations.”

Traffic officers will tow anyone blocking a driveway or parking on someone’s lawn.

Booths and concessions without permits — in abundance last year — will be cited and removed. And buses will be re-routed away from Haight and Stanyan streets and Masonic Avenue “to avoid delays.”

“San Francisco, as always, welcomes celebrants with open arms,” Breed said, “but (today) there will be boundaries to keep the community safe, and there will be no tolerance for anyone using 4/20 as an excuse to harm our parks or neighborhoods.”


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