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Glass bongs spotted at Golden Gate Park’s 4/20 event, despite ban

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Thousands had already gathered at Golden Gate Park ahead of 4:20 p.m. on Thursday, April 20, 2017. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)
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More than 6,000 people were counted in attendance at Hippie Hill for the annual 4/20 event meant to celebration marijuana just an hour before the countdown to the namesake time, 4:20 p.m., and many in attendance seemed to be blowing smoke at the new rules.

That’s fewer than the 10,000 people who were counted in attendance at last year’s event, officials said, but there was still time for the crowds to swell.

More than 60 portable toilets lined the event. Toilets near the entrances, near the food trucks, near the stages, and not a single long line for any of them were spotted as of 3 p.m.

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And 3 p.m. also marked the beginning of road closures for the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. Much of the entire commercial upper Haight neighborhood, from Stanyan Street to Masonic Avenue and Page to Frederick streets, was closed to vehicle traffic in the afternoon.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency rerouted its buses as of 3 p.m. for the street closures, including the 7-Haight Noriega, 37-Corbett, 43-Masonic, and 33-Stanyan.

“We did the same closures last year at about 3:30,” said Sarah Madland, a spokesperson for Rec Park, but The City decided to close things up earlier because traffic hit a breaking point earlier than they expected.

No arrests, no citations, and no reported incidents of violence have yet taken place at Hippie Hill for the 4/20 event, said San Francisco Police Department spokesperson Officer Robert Rueca.

Reporters from the San Francisco Examiner and other news outlets told Rueca they spotted glass bongs at the event, despite no glass being allowed, and various vendors selling cannabis products — from lollipops to dime bags, to rice krispy treats and tarantula blunts — without permits.

SEE RELATED: Sorry, stoners: No glass bongs allowed at first 4/20 event with city-sanctioned services

Rueca said, “We’re not ignoring rules. We’re trying to manage traffic and the crowds.”

He also said SFPD’s main priority is to maintain “public safety” at the park.

“If we see a crime,” he said, “we’re going to deal with it.”

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