Due to extra police staffing, Muni re-routing, and trash cleanup, the cost of cleaning up after the annual April 20th smoke-out/celebration in Golden Gate Park soared to over $100,000 this year.
Last year, sober observers coughed at the $15,000 worth of cleanup costs related to the event, but this year's total ballooned over six times as much due to the city's crackdown on the unsanctioned event. According to KQED's breakdown of the $100,000 tab, the majority of that massive increase in costs came from extra SFPD and Muni presence in the neighborhoods around Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park. The extra police presence cost over $43,000 and netted about a dozen arrests, four of which were later charged.
Traffic-wise, the SFMTA says they spent another $36,000 to cover the cost of extra fare inspectors and parking enforcers who were out to catch fare cheats and other stoney scofflaws in the Haight and the Sunset.
The cleanup cost also jumped this year: the Rec and Parks Department spent $23,000 to collect over 20,000 pounds of garbage left behind by the estimated 15,000 people who showed up.
Although the joint crackdown effort between District 5 supervisor London Breed and SFPD chief Greg Suhr was more far more expensive than the cleanup effort of previous years, District 8 supervisor Scott Wiener called it a success, saying: "“I mean the police, the Rec and Park and other departments were well prepared," Wiener told KQED, "but when you have a huge crowd coming in smoking pot and leaving their trash in the park, there’s only so much you can do.”