SF ‘psychedelic church’ to provide support services for unsanctioned 4/20 event


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — San Francisco’s official annual 4/20 event on Hippie Hill may have been canceled, but one local group is not about to let that harsh anyone’s mellow. The Church of Ambrosia, a self-described “psychedelic church,” announced it will be providing support services on Hippie Hill Saturday, “cancellation or not.”

In a news release Thursday, the church said it would be partnering with local Haight Ashbury merchants and nonprofit groups to provide a basic “safety net” of services like water, medical aid, portable toilets, and trash pickup.

“The iconic Hippie Hill 420 event, held in Golden Gate Park each April 20 for more than a half century, will be safe this Saturday thanks to the Church of Ambrosia, its collaboration with Haight Ashbury merchants and a host of nonprofit groups dedicated to providing support services,” the group said.

Despite the cancellation, thousands of people are likely to show up at Hippie Hill Saturday, according to Church of Ambrosia Pastor Dave Hodges and the Haight Ashbury Merchants Association. The organizational effort is necessary, according to Hodges, because cannabis devotees are compelled to come to the site in what amounts to a “religious pilgrimage.”

“This is like a pilgrimage to Mecca,” Hodges said. “We see this as a religious event. Anybody who is going out to Hippie Hill on 420 to smoke a joint, they’re doing that religiously, whether or not they realize it.”

Hodges, however, is not encouraging people to attend and encourages people to find alternate ways to celebrate 420. The fewer participants, according to Hodges, the less likely that services available will fall short of what’s needed.

He’s also encouraging people who attend to bring their own food, water and cannabis.

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