The New York City Cannabis Parade & Rally
The New York City Cannabis Parade & Rally (NYCCPR) is among the longest running marijuana events in the world. What began as a “Smoke-In” in Washington Square Park organized by the Yippies in 1970 has evolved into a two-part Event: a Parade down Broadway and a Rally in Union Square Park, all on the first Saturday in May (this year it’s on May 4). Sister events take place in more than 300 cities worldwide on the same day. NYCCPR is the founding chapter of the Global Marijuana March.
Our mission is to end the prohibition of cannabis at all levels –international, federal, state and local. Ten states have legalized marijuana since 2012. New York and New Jersey are both on paths to legalization. Thirty-two states allow access to medical marijuana, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. By May, perhaps New Jersey will have passed legislation, while in New York it might take a little longer to pass The Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act.
These factors make this year’s Parade & Rally all the more important. We’ve come a long way from when 50,000 New Yorkers were being arrested a year for marijuana possession. Arrests are down and policy has changed since last year. Now the goal is complete legalization, with a commercial marketplace, like in Colorado, California and Massachusetts. We’re close but not there yet. Join us this year for the NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally and be part of the solution.
The Rally takes place in Union Square Park at 14 St., between University Place and Fourth Ave. It begins at 1 pm when the Parade arrives at the Park. The Rally features a wide variety of prominent speakers –elected officials, activists and industry leaders –and musical entertainment by world-class performers, such as Redman and Immortal Technique. The speeches build to at the 4:20 countdown. The Rally concludes at 5 pm sharp.
The Parade assembles in midtown Manhattan, typically at 32nd St. and Broadway. There’s an opening “speak-out” at 11 a.m. featuring activists, elected officials and other political figures. The march down Broadway to Union Square leaves at 12:30 p.m, filling the street with activists and ordinary citizens. In 2018, the parade included more than 1,000 participants with numerous activist contingents as well as one from the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union.