Now that 4/20 is a semi-sanctioned affair in Golden Gate Park, complete with gates, fencing, and a city permit, there are some rules that are going to be enforced rules that existed in years past, or are just common sense, but nevertheless may be enforced with more gusto this year. SFist has a correspondent, Joe Kukura, out in the field for this unofficial stoners' holiday, for journalism, and we should have coverage of how it all smokes out this year, just as soon as he finds his way home.
First off, for the not-new rules: No weed or alcohol will be sold inside the event's fences. Chances are you can get by with just a contact high or wait for people to pass you joints, but the SFPD will be cracking down on anyone trying to deal on the premises of Hippie Hill, if they catch them.
Secondly, as San Francisco Police Capt. John Sanford tells KRON 4, and as has always been the case, "4/20 is no event for children. We do not want children at this event, children should not be at this event, and we have partnered with child protective services and we will take enforcement action if necessary."
Third: No tents, tables, DJ set-ups, amplified music, cooking equipment, or barbecues of any kind will be allowed in. And, no glass that means no glass bongs, too.
Supervisor London Breed, who has had to answer questions about the city's handling of this event since her tenure in District 5 began, says again this year, "This event is going to happen whether we want it to happen or not," and in a release explains, "That's why this year we’re trying something different. For the first time, we are partnering with a private sponsor to provide more infrastructure, safety services and approved vendors. With their involvement, there will be bathrooms, approved food stalls, medical personnel, gated perimeter and security, crowd control, and adult-only admission."
The partner she's talking about is a group of Haight merchants led by Black Scale clothing store owner Alex Aquino, who also lives near the park. His group put together about $100,000 in donations to help cover the costs of fencing, security, bathrooms, and cleanup, and he says he's "just trying to do the right thing" for the neighborhood. Aquino tells KRON 4, "I’m a merchant on the block and this is my life right here, and I just wanted to make it better. It’s one of the biggest events that comes to the park already. There’s a void there and we just wanted to help out."
There's even a main stage this year, but the schedule of performers, if there is one, is not on the Facebook event page. Do note that if you're heading there, the main entrance gate to Sharon Meadow is at the start of John F. Kennedy Drive, near the foot of Oak Street, and attendees are being told to avoid the tunnel entrance near Stanyan and Haight.
ABC 7 seems confused about whether or not this means the city is "sanctioning" the event now that it is, for the first time, permitted. But a permit sounds like sanctioning to me.
Meanwhile, strangely, the Chronicle is fretting that 4/20 is going to lose its homegrown, anarchic charm and become corporate-sponsored, like "Drinko de Mayo" or Pride.
Please enjoy KRON 4's preparatory coverage below, which begins with line, "Hey pothead, get ready for your mellow to be harshed."
Previously: The 8 Best New Stoner Foods In San Francisco