Pot Holiday: San Diego pot smokers celebrate first legal 420 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Pot Holiday: San Diego pot smokers celebrate first legal 420

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8/ AP) – San Diego marijuana fans have a lot to celebrate this 420.

It’s the first year that recreational smokers can light up legally for he annual April 20 high holiday.

At the Olive Tree Wellness Center in Ramona a medical marijuana prescription is still needed, but legalization of recreational use in the state has led to an evolving patient profile.

So on the first 420 day where smoking pot is legal and a stigma is going up in smoke, Jenny Maturo uses medical marijuana to ease the pain from a once fractured shoulder.

Five friends from San Rafael claim they coined the term while in high school back in the 1970’s. The group of friends would meet at 4:20 p.m., to search for marijuana they heard was growing in the woods.

The group never found it, but said the term 420 started roots of its own.

In the Bay Area, 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.

Now that marijuana is legal in California, even more people are joining the 420 celebration and feeling more free about admitting they are users.

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