As the state legislature considers the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act—the last hope for cannabis legalization this year since it was left out of the state budget—the Cannabis Parade serves as a reminder of how far the movement has come.
May 6, 2019
At the rally that headlined the Big Apple’s May 4 Cannabis Parade, after its march down Broadway from Midtown Manhattan, a multicultural crowd of impassioned youth filled Union Square. There, they grooved to sounds of live rap, reggae and funk, as activists chimed in between sets to fight for cannabis legalization. None of this was surprising to longtime followers of the annual freak-fest, held in the city for more than a generation. What made the difference this year is that one of those pro-cannabis activists on the stage was none other than New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
May 8, 2019
The NYC Cannabis Parade began as a "smoke-in" in Washington Square Park in 1973. It's evolved to become much bigger, and it's important as the country moves closer to widespread legalization. The 2019 outing had a rainy start and a sparse presence, but the subsequent rally was a packed gathering of elected officials, industry experts, and activists with their handmade signs, shirts, buttons, and blunts.
May 7, 2019
A massive cloud of smoke appeared over the crowd as the High and Mighty Brass Band took the stage. Attendees were as diverse as strains of weed that were there: old hippies, crust punks and industry folk all mingled, but mainly people were just excited to smoke weed in front of the cops and not have to worry about retribution.
May 6, 2019
Dozens of New Yorkers attended the Cannabis Parade and Rally at Union Square Park on May 4. The Youth International Party, also known as Yippies, started the event in 1973 as a “Smoke-In” where they passed around joints in Tompkins Square Park. It has now evolved into an event where elected officials and organization leaders speak out about the drug war and marijuana prohibition.
May 29, 2019
New York City's recently elected Public Advocate Jumaane Williams was among the many speakers and performers at the NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally on May 4 in Union Square Park. In his highly anticipated speech, Williams opened with the words of Peter Tosh, repeating "Legalize it!"
"In fact, marijuana has been legal in some places for a very long time," he went on. "They tried to decriminalize it. It didn't work. It's time for bold legalization of marijuana."
May 4, 2019
The rally started around 1pm, after the parade of activists marched into the park holding a large, inflatable joint that read: “Tax Don’t Jail, Deschedule Cannabis Now!” Despite the morning mist, the sun appeared just in time, which felt like a metaphor of sorts, as if the heavens were shining a light of approval from above.
May 16, 2019