SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Thousands of marijuana enthusiasts descended onto and around the renowned Hippie Hill in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park for the annual 4/20 Day celebration of cannabis culture Thursday.
The gathering – once an impromptu festival that overwhelmed the city’s ability to handle the ever-increasing crowds – this year was held with the city’s blessing. A group representing nearby Haight Street merchants raised money to manage the event; providing security and fenced-off entrances and exits, along with enforcing new rules designed to limit the impact on the surrounding neighborhood.
This year the gathering was only for those 18 and older, and attendees were prohibited from bringing in glass, barbecues, generators and open containers of alcohol.
It was also the first 4/20 Day gathering since California voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana last fall.
As the 4:20 p.m. hour approached, increasing wafts of marijuana smoke billowed among the cheering crowd crammed onto the spot made famous during San Francisco’s hippie heyday of the 60s.
An estimated 15,000 people joined in Thursday’s 4/20 Day celebration in San Francisco, about the same as attended this year.