If you’re planning on being one of those wild and crazy kids who goes to Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park on April 20 in order to get stoned with ten thousand like-minded strangers, you might want to leave the actual kids at home (or locked in the car with the windows cracked).
San Francisco police are gearing up for yet another 420 event — one of the largest unpermitted events in town, which is to say there's no “sponsor” to bill for the cleanup and security — and Park Station, the police station responsible for patrolling Hippie Hill, where the smoke-out takes place, issued a strong message to parents late last week: You could be arrested on child endangerment charges if you bring your little ones.
Police chief Greg Suhr is committed to “keeping the community safe,” according to the latest station newsletter, and this apparently extends to children being exposed to secondhand smoke and copious amounts of potato chips or THC-laced sweets — at least in public.
[jump] “It was troubling to see the number of parents that were actually bringing their children to such an event and this year we will determine if it’s appropriate to arrest those parents for child endangerment related offenses,” the newsletter says of last year’s 420.
“We ask in advance for parents to use good common sense and do not bring your children into this ‘smoke zone.’ ”
Fair enough — if you can't keep weed away from kids, try at least to keep kids away from weed? Though we wonder how this will play out for the parents of high school-aged kids who somehow find themselves in the park at the appointed hour, this is well in line with how San Francisco has dealt with 420.
It also seems to be a quintessentially San Francisco government move (putting on kid gloves, if you will): play nice with the massive unsanctioned event in which an illegal drug is consumed in massive quantities in a public park surrounded by residential neighborhoods, but draw the line at a helpless child being exposed to said illegal drug.
For attendees, it’s better than just shutting it down completely, which area Supervisor London Breed wanted to do after 420 in 2013.
Police say they have taken notes over the years and feel it’s a big enough problem to address. Last year there were five arrests made at an event attended by more than 10,000 people, so it seems like the marijuana is for the most part keeping people chill.
As usual, vendors of any kind and alcohol are not allowed. Urinating on private property also remains illegal and generally frowned upon.