“The NYC Cannabis Parade happening on Saturday, May 6, 2017; is a four-decade old original New York City tradition, part of the city’s classic heritage of cutting-edge progressive movements and protest advocacy. The Global Marijuana March (GMM) was born in New York City as the first annual pro-cannabis event and since expanded to hundreds of different cities in dozens of countries worldwide taking place in hundreds of cities around the world on the first Saturday of every May since 1999.”

“At this year’s Cannabis Parade in NYC, where the global movement was first ignited, several generations of supporters got together to demand an end to costly, dangerous cannabis prohibition, to promote its growing legal industry, and to smoke-signal Albany that they refuse to be ignored.”

“As attendees of Saturday’s events demonstrated, this social policy, also known as cannabis prohibition, continues to have an enormous impact on a wide variety of demographic and interest groups, from patients and prisoners to aspiring entrepreneurs.”

Cynthia Nixon spoke at the 2018 NYC Cannabis Parade.

Nixon is running for governor of New York and, after officially jumping into the race in March 2018, she announced her support for cannabis.

“Cannabis is the crown jewel in the racist war on drugs, and we must pluck it down,” she urged to the crowd. “We must expunge people’s records, we must get them out of prison. And when I’m governor, and when we legalize cannabis here, we will be sure to prioritize those communities of color, for the licenses to sell cannabis.”

“Known until a few years ago as “Cures Not Wars,” and now as the NYC Cannabis Parade, New York’s annual rally in support of legalization has been held in various forms since the early 1970s. This year, the event culminated in a gathering at Union Square. As blunts and pipes were passed around, speakers attempted to educate the crowd about the Marijuana Taxation and Regulation
Act (S. 1747/A. 3089A) that is currently stalled in the state legislature.”

“But some parade participants who led the marijuana mascot through lower Manhattan on Saturday have been marching for decades to fully legalize the drug in New York. They may have a long journey ahead.”

“‘We’re not looking at the medical statute as any kind of serious substantive change,’ said Noah Potter, an attorney and organizer of the event, who has been attending since the 1990s. ‘This event has always been about full legalization.’”

“NYC Cannabis Parade organizer Troy Smit told NBC News the annual event... aims to end the war on drugs, release the medicine, free the prisoners, heal the sick, and unite the nations’”

“At the NYC Cannabis Parade, politicians and activists spoke of lobbying local and state government leaders to support pro-marijuana legislation...”

“People rolled spliffs and passed them around; NYC Council Member Rafael L Espinal gave a speech, among others; educators educated, advocates advocated...”

"Some would say the fact that the NYPD did not seem interested in arresting anyone who was getting high at the event was a major shift in and of itself. Although the NYPD cut its marijuana arrests in half last year, 16,590 people were still cuffed for low-level marijuana possession, about 88% of whom were black or Latino."

"The New York City Cannabis Parade is one of the flagship events for the Million Marijuana March in the United States.
Actually, NYC’s Cannabis Parade began as an act of resistance. Marchers were fed up with the racist police crackdown on minor marijuana possession and use charges, and wanted to take back the streets for cannabis."

" the rally itself — where participants waved “Legalize It” posters and a few more exuberant stoners cavorted in giant joint costumes — the cops adopted a tacit all-toke, no-action policy.

“We have zero arrests, and we don’t plan on having any,” one sergeant told a Post reporter.

Advocates praised the cops’ mellow take on toking as the latest sign New York was inching toward decriminalization."

"The group in the parade was as diverse as New York itself–people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds, people wearing all green, people in one-pieces with weed patterns, and one group wearing t-shirts saying 'Law enforcement for legalization.'"