San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr and city Supervisor London Breed today announced a crackdown on misbehavior during unofficial celebrations at Golden Gate Park Sunday for the day revolving around marijuana known as “4/20.”
This year, “4/20” falls on Easter Sunday, a day when many spring and Easter events are scheduled to occur in the park—some permitted and others just anticipated.
Breed has called for increased enforcement throughout the park after last year, when about 150,000 people gathered in an area of the park known as Hippie Hill and generated about 10,000 pounds of garbage.
The trash left behind required a San Francisco Recreation and Park staff of 25 to work for 12 hours to clean up at the cost of $15,000, according to department general manager Phil Ginsburg.
Ginsburg joined Breed, Chief Greg Suhr and other public safety officials at the San Francisco Police Department’s Park station this afternoon to talk about preparations for the weekend in the park.
Breed said last year’s event, which included a massive smoke-out at 4:20 p.m., also involved underage drinking.
“We can’t say don’t come here for 4/20,” Breed said, but warned to be prepared “if you are breaking the law.”
She added, “We are not by any means saying we condone smoking marijuana for non medicinal purposes.”
Suhr assured that “this weekend is going to be a blast,” but warned park attendees that police are not going to tolerate dangerous and illegal behavior.
There will be uniformed and plainclothes officers patrolling the park, he said.
Last year there were eight arrests for narcotics sales, six for being drunk in public and 30 open container citations.
Other citations were issued for parking violations, public urination and unpermitted amplified sound.
Suhr reminded residents that vending items is not allowed in the park, and selling marijuana is a felony offense.
Ginsburg said his department is “much better positioned to manage” a weekend 4/20 event this year and advised attendees to take on the camping mentality of “pack it in and pack it out.”
He advised city residents, meanwhile, to try to avoid the crowds at Golden Gate Park, and if possible, plan any Easter or spring festivities at other city parks.
“Sunday is going to be a hectic day in Golden Gate Park,” he said.
Ginsburg also highlighted his department’s family-friendly “Spring Eggstravaganza” event with an egg hunt, arts and crafts and carnival rides at Sharon Meadow on Saturday, ahead of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence “Hunky Jesus Contest” which will take place in Golden Gate Park on Sunday.
Usually the tongue-in-check holiday event is held at Dolores Park, but with renovations under way there the event, organized by the Castro District-based community service organization, has been moved.
Organizers expect thousands to come out for the cross-dressing fashion show and other activities at the 35th annual Easter celebration and picnic.
More information about the contest is available online at www.thesisters.org.
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News