High holiday: Pot fans join 420 smoke-out in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — Thousands of marijuana enthusiasts flocked to San Francisco's Golden Gate Park for the annual April 20 high holiday that culminated with the crowd sparking up at 4:20 p.m.

The gathering Friday is the first since California legalized marijuana on Jan. 1. The festival is a celebration of the number 420, stoners' code for smoking marijuana.

A small, informal gathering that began several years ago has blossomed into a full-blown festival of corporate sponsors and commercial booths selling smoking devices, T-shirts and food.

San Francisco officials didn't immediately provide a crowd estimate. They estimated 15,000 attended the event last year.

Five Northern California men say they created the code in 1971 while high school classmates, planning to meet at 4:20 p.m. to smoke.

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