Well, let’s look at the upside. At least nobody was shot. Yet on the eve of the so-called Earth Day thousands of maggot-infested hippies showed up at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park to get stoned and left the place a mess.
San Francisco park workers and volunteers spent much of Sunday picking up and hauling away 10,000 pounds of garbage strewn all over the eastern part of Golden Gate Park known as Hippie Hill, the remnants of Saturday’s annual yet unofficial pot-smoking bacchanalia.
But this year’s annual celebration – which falls each year on April 20 and is known as “420” – drew a larger-than-average crowd of between 10,000 and 15,000 revelers on the warm weekend day. They proceeded to smoke, drink, eat and rack up more than $10,000 in costs for city crews to clean up the mess, ironically just before Earth Day.
Even by early Sunday afternoon, mounds of empty bags of chips, candy wrappers, snack containers, plastic cups, bottles and other debris still remained to be picked up, the fallout of what appeared to an enormous, collective case of the munchies.
Dan Kling, a nearby resident who was playing in the park with his 2 1/2-year-old daughter Sunday, was disgusted. Kling, 39, said he didn’t have an issue with the event, just with what was left behind.
“If you can’t be responsible for yourselves, you can’t have a party,” he said.
“It’s almost completely unmanageable. There are no officials you can contact to deal with things so that’s a frustration for us,” said Lt. Simon Silverman of the San Francisco Police Department‘s Park Station, located near Hippie Hill. “The people paying for all of this are going to be the taxpayers, so it’s not without cost.”
Many other unofficial events – like spontaneous gatherings for July Fourth – can draw hundreds if not thousands of people to parks. But July 4 activities do not typically involve as much excessive drug and alcohol use as the April 20 festivities, Silverman said.
Still, Silverman described Saturday’s activities as relatively smooth and free from violence, other than a robbery and the numerous ambulances called for medical problems related to the drugs and alcohol. He said issuing tickets for littering or other infractions would have overwhelmed the department’s resources.
Well, at least it was mostly peaceful. Ironically, while these freaks leave a mess wherever they go, whenever there’s a Tea Party rally they leave the place cleaner than before they arrived, as you can see from a DC event a couple of years ago.