The Norman Transcript

State/Region

April 21, 2014

Smoke-out marks holiday

(Continued)

DENVER —

In San Francisco, thousands of revelers gathered at Golden Gate Park’s Hippie Hill, which has become the go-to spot for the unsanctioned festival every year.

City officials said they would be cracking down on illegal parking, camping, drug sales, underage drinking and open alcohol containers. Hippie Hill was covered in canopies as dozens of people sold pot-laced cookies, brownies and other items. Some vendors told the San Francisco Chronicle that sales were slow because so many people were peddling the treats.

Officer Danielle Newman said at least eight people face possible felony charges, but she didn’t elaborate on the reasons for their arrests.

In Washington, thousands celebrated in the only other state to legalize marijuana. Events included an event sponsored by Seattle’s Dope Magazine, with a $99 “judge’s pass” available that included 10 marijuana samples.

Back in Colorado, University of Colorado officials closed the Boulder campus to all but students, faculty and staff on Sunday to ensure no 4/20 celebrations were held. Spokesman Ryan Huff said the tactic was working, with no arrests reported Sunday.

While the weekend was for celebrating, recent events have brought serious scrutiny to Colorado’s experiment with legalizing marijuana. Denver police say a man ate marijuana-infused candy before shooting and killing his wife on Monday, an attack dispatchers heard during a 911 call the woman placed. Her death followed that of a college student who traveled from Wyoming to Colorado with friends for spring break, ate more than the recommended dose of a marijuana-laced cookie and jumped to his death from a hotel balcony in Denver. State lawmakers are debating how to increase safety regulations.

Marijuana festivities got off to a slow start on Easter Sunday. But as the clock counted down to 4:20 and crowds surged into Civic Center Park, festivalgoers noted the big changes from previous years — more merchandise and more police.

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