Organizers expect 20,000 at 4/20 smoke out at San Francisco's Hippie Hill

ByAnser Hassan KGO logo
Friday, April 19, 2019
Organizers expect 20,000 at 4/20 smoke out in SF
Plumes of smoke will soon fill the air at San Francisco's Hippie Hill for the city's annual 4/20 celebration. The tradition has taken on new meaning since the legalization of pot.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It is an annual San Francisco tradition that has taken on new meaning since the legalization of cannabis -- the 4/20 Smoke Out at Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park. It happens every year on April 20.

Organizers are expecting up to 20,000 people to come out for Saturday's event. It's a big draw for Emerald Farm Tours.

"This is our Black Friday, yes!" jokes CEO Victor Pinho.

Their 4-hour tour includes visits to pot farms and dispensaries in San Francisco. They are expecting a sell-out for this weekend.

"We are going to be (dropping off our guests) before 3 p.m. so they can enjoy the 4:20 p.m. event and the 4/20 Smoke Out that is the signature, crowning moment of cannabis culture here in San Francisco," says Pihno.

He has several tourists in town just for 4/20.

"California (and) 4/20 go together. What's not to enjoy!" says Mohamed Raffara, visiting from Detroit.

City officials say they want people to have a good time, but they will be enforcing the rules with extra officers on the street starting on Thursday.

Glass, drones, alcohol, pets and weapons are not allowed inside Hippie Hill, which is already fenced off for the event.

It is illegal to smoke in a public park, but it will be legal to smoke in the fenced-off area. However, there will not be any cannabis sold inside the venue.

Also, no one under the age of 18 will be allowed inside, and no one under 21 will be allowed to smoke, rules that San Francisco Supervisor Vallie Brown of District 5 says will be strictly enforced.

"If a juvenile probation officer comes up to them and asks for their ID, and they have cannabis, they will be taken in," says Brown.

She says safety is big concern around this event and is warning anyone who plans to attend to not buy any cannabis from people on the street. At last year's event, several people overdosed on marijuana laced with fentanyl.

Along with safety concerns, the city is working to deal with the traffic problem. This year, they added more buses to service the event.

"Last year we had to wait for buses to come back when they were taking people out of the event. This year, there will be enough buses that there will be a continual service, getting people on buses and out of the area," say District Five Supervisor Brown.

They are also setting up designated areas for Uber and Lyft pick-up and drop-off to prevent gridlock.

Here are more stories, photos, and video on cannabis.