The mellow, “peace now,” countercultural, environmentally conscious “420” celebration deposited 10,000 pounds of garbage on what is known as Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park, leaving volunteers and park workers to clean up the mess.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s website SF Gate, this year’s celebration drew a massive amount of revelers estimated at between 10,000 and 15,000. The pot smokers’ untidiness will cost the city more than $10,000 in cleanup costs.
The immense load of empty bags of chips, candy wrappers, and snack containers left behind was evidence that it was indeed the remnants of weed smokers with a case of the munchies on steroids.
The SF Gate reported that one father, Dan Kling, who had taken his 2½-year-old daughter to the park for some family time, was repulsed by the behavior of the “420” partiers. Although he didn’t mind that there was a party, he objected to the pigsty that they left behind. “If you can’t be responsible for yourselves, you can’t have a party,” he said.
In fairness to the stoners, the park does not provide additional waste management containers and portable toilets for unofficial events. Moreover, the fact that “420” fell on a beautiful weekend added to the amount of people joining in the bacchanalia. Connie Chan, a spokeswoman with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, explained, “Permitted events are well organized and planned much in advance with multiple city agencies to ensure public safety and patron enjoyment.”
Lt. Simon Silverman of the San Francisco Police Department Park Divison remarked, “It’s almost completely unmanageable. There are no officials you can contact to deal with things so that’s a frustration for us.” The discouraged public servant added, “The people paying for all of this are going to be the taxpayers, so it’s not without cost.”