Even with a plan to manage SF's formally-informal weed-honoring "holiday" of 4/20, the San Francisco Police Department captain whose station takes the brunt of the event's impact is calling for the city to either regulate the celebration or shut it completely down.
Though San Francisco's Recreation and Parks Department had estimated this year's attendee count at about 8000, at a community meeting Tuesday night, Park Station Captain John Sanford archly announced that "We had somewhere in the area of 13 to 15 thousand individuals who decided to indulge in a day of smoking marijuana," Hoodline reports.
And though SFPD spent several days ahead of the event clamping down on nearby drug dealers and rousting homeless folks from the area near Golden Gate Park typically habituated by 4/20 revelers, the celebration still troubled Sanford, who said Tuesday that he worries about the "public safety issues" posed by the celebration.
"When you get that many people in one area, you are destined to have some problems," Sanford said. "I am definitely not a fan of 4/20. I really do think that the City will need to step up and do something to either legislate the things that happen, or to cancel 4/20 across the board."
Rec and Park chief Phil Ginsberg said last month that this year's 4/20 cost taxpayers about $50,000 in trash cleanup fees and resulted in a jaw-dropping 17,000 pounds of garbage. On top of that, Samantha Roxas, an aide for District 5 Supervisor London Breed, said Tuesday that SF spent an estimated $110,000 on public safety costs.
Breed has long been an opponent of the event, suggesting in 2013 that the event be shut down and that "Since marijuana is illegal, I don't think there's anything that can be done other than making sure there's enforcement to stop the event from happening altogether." Roxas was similarly 4/20-unfriendly, saying Tuesday that "We're hopefully getting to that place where the Board of Supervisors is getting to understand the impact [4/20 is] having on neighbors."
"It's incredibly expensive for the city," Roxas said.
"The numbers about how much this costs the city will help us make the case for whether we make it illegal, require that it be sponsored by someone so we have somebody paying for everything, or we just outright don't have it any more."