NYC Cannabis Parade
Yesterday was the day that herbalists from every borough of New York came together to march and protest for cannabis rights in their home state. Early Saturday afternoon, New Yorkers gathered on Broadway between 31st and 32nd and marched down to Union Square (14th Street) where a 5 hour gathering was held.
Protesters and activists hit the streets with their signs and banners to let the city know that there is a cannabis community residing in the Big Apple. Though the crowd, was smaller than we expected, a wide variety of people came out to show support. In Union Square, a small section of the park was reserved for marijuana lovers. NYPD stood guard at the barriers of the event and frequently patrolled throughout to observe and be sure the law was being abided by, with the exception of cannabis temporarily being permitted to be smoked within a certain radius.
A stage decorated with signage reading "NYC Cannabis Parade" sponsored by Sensi Seeds, hosted a series of performances from underground rappers and speeches from cannabis activists. The audience and passers-by jammed to well known songs while event goers smoked and spoke with locals who use marijuana for pleasure, and others who need it for their health. A few vendors set up tables with cardboard signs and fliers to promote their businesses but for the most part, it seemed like a regular day in Union Square, only with cannabis allowed.
Walking throughout the park, we saw many people rolling up, packing bowls and getting high. However, there was also a large presence of other drugs at the event. We were commonly asked if we used acid, which is not something we partake in and believe should not be linked with cannabis legality. Many people hit the pavement to fight for their own personal causes not relevant to the cannabis parade. Many signs rose above the crowd about Jesus. People walked around promoting the legalization of prostitution. A group of people stripped down to their underwear and pranced around in circles, humped the ground and did other crazy things they considered "freedom dancing."
The NYC Cannabis Parade is a great event that if planned and regulated better, we believe can have a major impact on legalizing New York. The event could have been more widely promoted so that a larger group of people would have came out. A timed schedule of performances and speakers would allow people to hear and see everything they desired. The professional promotion of marijuana products and services would have extremely benefited the cause, further showing how cannabis can be used in many uplifting ways. We hope to see the NYC Cannabis Parade continue and get better with time.