City unveils plan to get tough at 4/20 gatherings

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Sup. London Breed: "We need to make the city and streets safe this year."

City officials today announced a "comprehensive plan" to crack down on unpermitted 420 events at Golden Gate Park this Sun/20, saying it was necessary because last year’s debauchery got out of hand. That means more police, both in uniform and plainclothes, will be in the park for the greatest marijuana celebration of the year.

“Last year [on 4/20] we had a lot of challenges,” said Sup. London Breed, who is spearheading this year’s efforts since the park falls in her district. “We need to make the city and streets safe this year. We want people to come and enjoy San Francisco, but we also want them to respect San Francisco.”

The problems Breed was alluding to included underage drinking, traffic congestion, and massive amounts of trash left in the park, especially in the area known as Hippie Hill.

Last year, it took 25 city employees over 12 hours to clean up the five tons of trash left by intoxicated visitors, according to Phil Ginsburg, general manager of San Francisco Recreation and Parks. And because 420 activities are unsanctioned and without an official sponsor, the burden to pay for the cleanup falls upon the city. In 2013, the Department of Public Works spent more than $10,000 to restore Golden Gate Park.

In anticipation of an even larger crowd this year, for both 420 and Easter events happening in the park, the city is gearing up to deal with people and traffic. In addition to deploying additional law enforcement in plainclothes and uniform, officials also plan to ramp up parking control, utilize additional bus services, and employ city workers to direct traffic.

A press release issued by Breed's office indicated that police would take "a strict enforcement approach to all code violations."

But speaking at the press conference, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr said officers will have zero tolerance for violations such as underage drinking, open containers, selling drugs, unlicensed vendors, and even walking while texting. Noticeably absent from the list of offenses he mentioned was actually smoking marijuana.

“The sale of marijuana is still a felony,” Suhr emphasized, “but I don’t think [the SFPD is] naive enough to believe that we can stop people from smoking on 4/20.”

Captain Gregory Corrales confirmed that maintaining safety is the station’s top priority. Last year there was only one violent incident and eight arrests for selling drugs, but there were zero citations for possession of marijuana.

Pot smoking, which has long been tolerated, if not embraced, in our progressive enclave, was officially deprioritized as a crime by the Board of Supervisors in 2006, barring incidents that involved driving under the influence, minors, or violence. Breed noted that while she does not “condone illegal activities,” she admits that this aspect of the 420 celebration is difficult to control.

So please, stoners of San Francisco, follow the cardinal rule of nature lovers by packing out whatever you pack in. And above all, have a safe and merry holiday.

Comments

Posted by Guest on Apr. 16, 2014 @ 4:19 pm

We as in who the hell u think u are..

Posted by Guest on Apr. 19, 2014 @ 11:27 am

I'm just reporting it.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 19, 2014 @ 12:51 pm

We pay our damn taxes so that City employees can clean up after us when we have fun in our parks. If it were Larry Ellison or Warren Hellman's event, they'd spare no expense.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 16, 2014 @ 5:32 pm

Well, if it were Warren Hellman's event, Warren Hellman would spare no expense, anyway

Posted by SFRealist on Apr. 17, 2014 @ 6:34 am

regardless of whether they do any actual work.

Maybe outsource the cleaning to save money?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 17, 2014 @ 7:00 am

pick up your own goddamn trash and be responsible for your actions and don't depend on the City for everything.

That said, it'd help if there were more garbage cans in these areas, and if those that are there are, you know, emptied when overflowing

Posted by guestD on Apr. 17, 2014 @ 7:10 am

But many of the 120K+ people at the 4/20 event are NOT from SF. They are NOT paying taxes but they are trashing GGPark.

This is not a city event. It's just an excuse for a bunch of d-bags to get together and party. I don't think I need to pay taxes to clean up after them. Regular usage of city parks - fine.

Posted by dawdler on Apr. 17, 2014 @ 11:33 am

No self-respecting SF stoner would bother leaving his rent-controlled flat.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 17, 2014 @ 12:22 pm

Wait a sec. I know texting while walking is stupid, but it's actually criminal?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 16, 2014 @ 6:50 pm

That is what struck me most about this article, too! For real?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 5:35 pm

Yes i think everyone should pick up there trash crackdown on littering hard. But leave people alone who want to share the beauty of the park that many people and 1 incident i mean cmon let it be. I personally think everyone should donate 5 bucks to come celebrate and help pay for city help. For all you haters who pick on stoners kick rocks go pick on meth addicts heroin addicts ect. ect. Drinking and driving is worse cannabis is real medicine so f*** off.

Posted by its a day of celebrating peace and happiness ONE LOVE...... on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 8:52 pm

"People alone who want to share the beauty of the park"? That's like saying people want to go out on Halloween just to look at the costumes. It's a bunch of people who want to get together, smoke in public without fear of getting busted, and getting high as shit.

It is what it is. Just don't try to hide it behind some hippie bullshit that all these people are just going to the park to enjoy looking at the trees and butterflies.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 9:17 pm

One other thing. In the future, you might want to put down the bong before you try and write a post. It might help your writing and spelling abilities.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 9:20 pm

What political BS who gives a damn who pays for it??
Do any of u get to oversee anything our city
Pays for??? The cops whooping our asses
At peaceful events.. We pay for that too??
At least at this event I will a blow a fat cloud of my
Blunt smoke at a pigs face and smile :).. I
Love my city!!! SF baby go Giants!!!

Posted by Guest on Apr. 19, 2014 @ 11:22 am

What political BS who gives a damn who pays for it??
Do any of u get to oversee anything our city
Pays for??? The cops whooping our asses
At peaceful events.. We pay for that too??
At least at this event I will a blow a fat cloud of my
Blunt smoke at a pigs face and smile :).. I
Love my city!!! SF baby go Giants!!!

Posted by Guest on Apr. 19, 2014 @ 11:25 am

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