SAN JOSE (KPIX) – People across the Bay Area gathered to celebrate April 20th, Tuesday, the unofficial cannabis holiday, even if it meant getting a little creative as the pandemic rages on.
“I think it’s nice to just see people on the go, to see people happy, to see the community come together,” said Melanie, who refused to give her last name.
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In San Jose, a chimney called “The Public Spark” attracted dozens of cannabis enthusiasts, artisans, and grocery vendors, including those who came to the city of Silicon Valley after finding their usual 4/20 hangouts in San Francisco fenced off and guarded by Park rangers and police officers.
Hippie Hill’s annual event, which typically attracts thousands of people, was canceled this year.
“It seemed like they switched so they gave the San Jose austerity out there and they gave us the San Francisco indulgence out here, that’s how I feel,” Dre said.
The loose public health restrictions imposed by the pandemic gave many an opportunity to find ways to celebrate the unofficial holiday, including virtually and socially aloof.
An online concert called “The Great American ‘Sesh In’ 4/20 Celebration” raised funds for cannabis criminal justice reform.
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San Jose’s event also had a deeper message. Organizers protested on behalf of those jailed for marijuana crimes as others make billions of dollars in the legal cannabis industry.
“I definitely think there is more to be done. We still have a lot of people locked up on drug charges,” Melanie said.
In addition, many said that April 20th this year will always be different from previous years.
It was also the same day that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd last May.
“I have the feeling that there is a lot to celebrate and that there is still a lot to remember that there is still more to do,” said Melanie.
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“It’s definitely one to remember,” said Keyanna Swanson. “Now we have justice and closure and that is absolutely what we needed.”