The New York City Cannabis Parade & Rally (NYCCPR) is among the longest running marijuana legalization events in the world. What began as a “Smoke-In” in Washington Square Park organized by the Yippies in 1973 has evolved into a three-part Event: A Parade down Broadway, a Rally in Union Square Park and a celebratory After Party, all on the first Saturday in May. Sister events take place in cities worldwide on the same day. NYCCPR is the founding chapter of the Global Marijuana March.
However, we ground to to a halt in 2020 with New York City overwhelmed by Covid-19. NYCCPR is coming back in 2021 on May 1, but scaled down as according to the City's Covid regulations.
Also since last year, cannabis has been legalized in New York State. We are proud to have, for many decades, played a role in educating New Yorkers about prohibition and what needed to be done to change the state's outdated cannabis laws. Now that it has happened - in New Jersey as well - we urge other states to create fair and equitable commerical marketplaces. On the federal level, change is moving slower. And, on the local level, there are legal changes happening with other drugs, including psychedelics, heroin and cocaine.
This year’s Parade & Rally will be both a celebration and acknowledgement of hard work well done by so many activists and advocates. New York has come a long way from when it was the Marijuana Arrest Capitol of the World. As we enter a new era, we must remain vigilant and keep our eyes on implementation and diversity as the cannabis industry grows in New York and across the Northeast.
There are three components to the NYCCPR: The Parade, the Rally and the After Party.
For 2021 Parade info, go here.
The Rally takes place in Union Square Park at 14 St., between University Place and Fourth Ave. It usually 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, 420 Funk Mob and Immortal Technique. The speeches build to the 4:20 countdown and the Rally continues with music until the program ends at 5pm sharp.
Reform organization and sponsors set up booths and tables opposite the stage in front of the George Washington statue.
The 2021 Rally will take place from 12-2 pm. It will not be a traditional rally. Space is limited to 200 people limited due. We will feature elected official, local advocates and musical performances.
There will not be a 2021 After Party.
Please note: Final details are subject to change by NYPD and New York City Parks Department.