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‘Serious buzzkill’: Pandemic snuffs out San Francisco’s 4/20 celebration for second year

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People looking for a spot of grass in San Francisco to celebrate the nationally recognized marijuana holiday Tuesday won’t be able to find any at Golden Gate Park, where the annual party has been canceled.

Barriers have been erected around the park in anticipation of April 20, when throngs usually converge on its popular Hippie Hill.

“Although we’re in a better place in our fight against COVID-19 than we were last year, we are still not at the point where we can allow large, crowded events,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “Please do your part to keep our community safe and celebrate from home. Anyone traveling to Golden Gate Park or Hippie Hill looking for a party will be disappointed.”

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San Francisco is in the orange tier of the state’s color-coded restrictions, meaning some businesses may operate with modifications. But instead of weeding out the crowd with capacity limits, the city canceled the event altogether. Police officers and park rangers will ensure people stay off the grass Tuesday, and citations may be issued, according to a city announcement.

“Let me be blunt,” San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg said in a statement. “Hippie Hill will be completely inaccessible. Law enforcement will be patrolling the area. It will be a serious buzzkill.”

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Event organizers are offering a dis-jointed set of online events in lieu of the usual gathering, including a livestreamed comedy show. They also encourage people to purchase marijuana or other pot-related items from local dispensaries and delivery services.

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