Pandemic Doesn't Stop San Jose Stoners From Celebrating 4/20

The pandemic didn't stop 4/20 celebrations across the Bay Area, even if it meant getting a little creative. Maria Medina reports from San Jose.

Video Transcript

- New at 11:00, the pandemic didn't stop 420 celebrations across the Bay Area, even if it meant getting a little creative.

- KPIX 5"s Maria Medina is in San Jose with why this year's unofficial cannabis holiday will be remembered more than others.

MARIA MEDINA: This year, people were eager to gather for 420, even if it meant virtually or in small crowds. After all, 420 celebrations last year were shut down because of COVID.

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The smoke out in San Jose dubbed The Public Spark drew in cannabis lovers, arts and crafts, and food vendors--

DRE: You know, something for everybody.

MARIA MEDINA: --including those who came to San Jose after finding their usual 420 hangouts in San Francisco that normally hosts thousands looked like this instead, fenced off and guarded by park rangers and police.

DRE: Yes, they like to switch. So they gave the San Jose strictness out there, and they gave us the San Francisco leniency here. That's how I feel.

MARIA MEDINA: Even with the pandemic raging on, looser public health restrictions gave the all clear for many to find ways to celebrate online.

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--or socially distanced.

MELANIE: I think it's nice just, like, seeing people out and about, seeing people happy, like, seeing the community come together.

MARIA MEDINA: But San Jose smokeout had a deeper message. Organizers protested on behalf of those serving prison time for marijuana crimes as others make billions off of the legal marijuana industry. The San Francisco virtual concert also raised money for a similar cause.

MELANIE: I definitely think that there's still more to do. Like, we still have a lot of people locked up for drug related charges.

MARIA MEDINA: But many say this year's 420 holiday will always be different than others past.

KEYANNA SWANSON: Definitely one to remember.

MARIA MEDINA: They say it will also be remembered as the day justice was served in the George Floyd case.

KEYANNA SWANSON: Now we have justice and closure, and that's absolutely what we needed.

MELANIE: I feel like there's lots to kind of celebrate and then also lots to still kind of remember that there's more to do.

MARIA MEDINA: And despite the police presence at Hippie Hill in San Francisco, we saw little to no officers here at this park tonight. In San Jose, Maria Medina, KPIX 5.