Marijuana Day: San Francisco's Guide to Music, Comedy, and Protest on 4/20

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Happy 4/20
If you're reading this, it's arrived: the marijuana holiday, the tokiest of tokies, the Christmas/Chinese New Year/Yom Kippur of cannabis use. The 20th day of April, the beloved 420.


Today, every medical cannabis dispensary in town will offer specials and discounts, and many offer music or other treats in addition to extended hours. Even though marijuana smoking is, ahem, not allowed and punishable by a fine, Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park will be a mob scene all day leading up to the magic stroke of 20 minutes past four in the afternoon, when -- well, duh.

But leading up to that moment, there's plenty else afoot in the Bay Area. How about some protesting and activism, then a film festival, then music, then comedy?
The list of deals and such offered by the city's 22 medical marijuana dispensaries are too legion to mention here. But be sure to visit your favorite location -- if that's what you're into -- and maybe even a few more. While they're still here, that is.

Today is a day for much more than burning one -- or several -- down in public. Over in Oakland, it's a call to action.

At 11:30 a.m., protesters will converge upon the downtown Oakland federal building at 1301 Clay Street to voice their displeasure with the April 2 raid on Oaksterdam University. That will continue until 1 p.m.

Then it's time to party! And to raise funds for Americans for Safe Access. ASA's national chapter is hosting a fundraiser over at El Rio -- co-hosted by the San Francisco Examiner's soon-to-be newest acquisition -- where, from 4 to 6 p.m., money from drink sales will go directly to ASA. The event's got DJs spinning "Stoned Soul," and El Rio and its righteous back patio are at 3158 Mission (at Precita). Keep in mind marijuana use can get Alcoholic Beverage Control annoyed with a bar when you're enjoying your outdoor privileges.

Beforehand, you can stick with the NORML crew for a marijuana-friendly film festival. NORML will screen three movies at the Oaksterdam student union, at 1600 Broadway in Oakland. See movies about NORML, and Oaksterdam University and the Prop. 19 wild ride at 3 and 4:30 p.m. respectively. Then at 6, you can be among the first to view a movie called Green Goddess, about the "almost-true" tale of four Northern Californians growing marijuana in Switzerland. Tickets are $10, and will benefit the in-need Oaksterdam University, which is currently being staffed by volunteers following the feds' raid.

At 8 p.m. until past midnight, visit with marijuana guru Ed Rosenthal and comedian extraordinaire Ngaio Bealum at the Performance Art Institute. It should be quite a show.

Also at 8, find yourself at the Roxie in San Francisco for Dark Side of Oz. Tickets are $12, in case you lost your copy of the Wizard of Oz or similarly forgot how to order Dark Side of the Moon on iTunes. For those living in caves, there's something about the two when properly queued up together. (The scarecrow has boss moves when queued up to The Fat Boys, too.)

Then what? Music, of course. Wiz Khalifa's going to be at the Billy Graham for a show he's dubbed "The Bake-Off." Backpackers like yours truly might feel more at home at the Stones Throw 420 Showcase at 1015 Folsom at 10 p.m. The real adventurous among us can fire up the glow sticks and whip out the shutter shades for the Womp Island 4/20 Music Festival on Treasure Island, where "full laser shows," "custom visuals," and other sights and sounds sure to blow your mind are promised.

Snakes alive, that's a full darn day. Don't forget the Deep Green Festival at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond on Saturday. That starts at noon.

See you Monday!

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