4/20 on Hippy Hill in Golden Gate Park
Citation: Erowid E, Erowid F. "4/20 on Hippy Hill in Golden Gate Park." Erowid Extracts. Jul 2014;26:7.
It seems that we've passed beyond the tipping point for cannabis legalization in the United States. Rev MeO's experience at the Cannabis Cup and our visit to Golden Gate Park on April 20th, 2014 solidified that this shift has occurred.
A friend had told us that the "4/20" celebration at Hippy Hill in Golden Gate Park (San Francisco) had become an amazing spectacle over the past few years. At her insistence, and after reading local news stories that the police might be enforcing the law, we sauntered down to the park on Easter Sunday to see what the annual unpermitted, informal cannabis gathering had become.
In California, cannabis possession of up to 28 grams (one ounce) is a ticketable, non-arrestable infraction. In tolerant areas like San Francisco, even the risk of a ticket is minimal. Further, medical-use cards enable legal possession of larger amounts. After backing down from earlier threats of blocking the event, local city supervisor London Breed said she didn't want "to be a buzz kill or judge anybody's recreational activity [...] but if you break the law, we will enforce it."
We were offered pre-rolled joints and pipes before we even passed through the Haight Street tunnel entrance to the park. But as we walked towards the warm and sunny Hippy Hill, we joined a packed crowd of people slowly weaving through a chaotic open-air market towards fields of people dancing and hanging out on blankets. The air was filled with the smell of pot smoke and the joyous din of dozens of sound systems competing to share Grateful Dead riffs and hip hop beats. Hundreds of vendors had set up under canopies, behind tables, or with portable trays to show off goods. Pipes and bongs of every shape and size were for sale along with t-shirts, cans of soda or beer, snack foods, stoner-oriented toys, and random art fair goods. More historically notable were the open offerings of live cannabis plants, buds, concentrated extracts, pre-rolled joints, and a varied selection of pot-containing edibles. So many people had brought homemade edibles that many people were giving them away for free. The upbeat festival atmosphere included shouts of "Joints for a dollar!", "Dollar bong rips!", and "Free dabs!". We stopped at one table to speak to one of the many vendors selling vaporizer pens. He sold two types, one designed for bud and one for wax/oil. He gave a practiced sales pitch as we eyed his open bowls of bud and vials of oil. He offered free tokes to try his $20 devices, but we declined, citing further Easter responsibilities. As we finished our walk through the park and headed out, we saw nearby police get in their cars and drive away. Apparently 20,000 people smoking pot and hundreds of vendors selling illegal cannabis products wasn't of much interest to law enforcement.