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Monday, May 27, 2024

A Bay Space Custom Tightens Up


It’s April twentieth, 2023. Within the nook of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, an estimated 20,000 individuals collect round an unassuming hill lodged between the Conservatory of Flowers and the legendary Haight Road.

On stage, Erykah Badu leads a countdown to 4:20 PM. Because the clock hits that magical hour, attendees of 4/20 at Hippie Hill launch hashish smoke from their lungs, enveloping the encircling space in a pungent cloud.  

San Francisco’s Hippie Hill is a testomony to town’s wealthy historical past of counterculture actions and its free-spirited popularity. Yearly, hashish lovers from the Bay Space and past collect to have a good time 4/20. 

What follows is the historical past of Hippie Hill, the way it turned a landmark of hashish tradition, and why the as soon as spontaneous competition got here to embrace fences and decorum.  

Hippie Hill’s Origins & How It Grew to become A 4/20 Hub

Through the Nineteen Sixties, Hippie Hill turned a frequent assembly spot for hippies coming over from the close by Haight Road, the epicenter of San Francisco’s counterculture motion. Teams would collect on the hill to unwind and soak up nature whereas consuming LSD and hashish. The sound of guitars, drum circles, and different devices would fill the air. 

Hippie Hill gained nationwide fame throughout the Summer time of Love in 1967. That summer season, Hippie Hill hosted free performances from artists like Janis Joplin, the Grateful Lifeless, and George Harrison. Although the hippie motion would die down within the years following the Summer time of Love, Hippie Hill continued to carry a particular place within the hearts of hashish customers throughout the Bay Space. That stated, it might not grow to be the 4/20 hub many realize it as right now for a pair extra many years.

In 1971, simply throughout the Golden Gate Bridge in San Rafael, 5 highschool college students used a treasure map to attempt to discover a secret deserted hashish crop. Of their quest for a mystical hashish bounty, the group inadvertently created the time period “4:20” (the story is price its personal learn). In 1998, one of many San Rafel college students who originated the phrase turned a roadie for the Grateful Lifeless. There, the previous San Rafael scholar popularized the phrase, declaring 4:20 PM as the proper time to eat hashish.

The popularization of the phrase helped 4/20 grow to be a hashish vacation, inviting hashish customers from throughout to assemble and have a good time their favourite plant. Hippie Hill, already a sacred web site for hashish customers and retired hippies alike, turned a pure dwelling for the custom rooted within the Bay Space.

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Hippie Hill’s 4/20 Celebration Hits Some Rising Pains

For a lot of its early existence, 4/20 at Hippie Hill was an extremely unregulated occasion. Hundreds of individuals from all throughout the Bay would flood the streets of close by neighborhoods like Haight and Ashbury, Cole Valley, and the residential Sundown District. 

Because the occasion grew in dimension so too did the variety of complaints from locals. Residents complained about all the things from unlawful parking and gridlocked streets to dangerous conduct from occasion attendees. Tensions boiled over after 2013’s 4/20 celebration which required a $15,000 cleanup effort. One resident described the aftermath saying, It looked like a garbage truck had been detonated.”

These rising complaints caught the eye of Haight District Supervisor and present SF mayor, London Breed. In response, 2014’s 4/20 featured an elevated police presence meant to keep up a extra orderly atmosphere. Wanting to maintain the spirit of the San Francisco custom alive, nevertheless, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr stated that they wouldn’t be focusing on attendees smoking hashish. As a substitute, police handed out violations for “alcoholic beverages, tree climbing, fires, and peddling or vending without a permit.”

Even with elevated police supervision, nevertheless, Hippie Hill’s 4/20 festivities proved too tough to control. In 2015, guests left over 17,000 kilos of trash within the space, which ballooned to 22,000 kilos in 2016. Widespread littering, mixed with a number of experiences of violence and theft, virtually resulted within the occasion being shut down completely after 2016. It was clear that the famously free-spirited celebration wanted extra construction.

The 4/20 Competition Goes Company

Following a disastrous 2016, Golden Gate Park personnel, neighborhood organizers, and company curiosity teams stepped as much as create a extra structured occasion. Thus, 4/20 at Hippie Hill was formally created, with occasion firm Sounds Bazaar LLC tasked with overseeing the logistics. After some progress was made in taming the occasion, 2020’s pandemic briefly paused the competition.

2022 marked the triumphant return of the competition. It additionally marked the primary time that hashish was offered legally at Hippie Hill. The 2022 competition featured dispensary cubicles (together with Mike Tyson’s Undisputed Hashish), meals vans, and efficiency levels arrange within the fenced-off Hippie Hill Farmers market space. Attendants had been required to point out ID displaying they had been 21+ to enter.

The brand new 4/20 at Hippie Hill appears to be like a little bit totally different than it did 10 years in the past, not to mention through the 1967 Summer time of Love, which cemented the unassuming grassy hill with an excellent view as a cultural landmark. Gone are the times when teams of hashish lovers might freely collect round Hippie Hill to share their love for one another and the plant. Right now, fenced-off areas plastered with hashish firm logos and company sponsorships fill the once-open discipline. 

With its wild spirit tamed, what does 4/20 on Hippie Hill symbolize right now?

Dr. Jen Chalmers
Dr. Jen Chalmers
Dr. Jen Chalmers is an accomplished writer and cannabis enthusiast. With a Ph.D. in Botany and years of experience as a researcher, she brings a scientific perspective to her captivating articles on cannabis news, recipes, and the fascinating world of psychedelics.

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