|MMM Protests NYC's Record-High Pot Arrests!|
Posted by FoM on May 04, 1999 at 21:36:21 PT|
Source: The Village Voice
It's not every day that hundreds of people light up joints in full view of dozens of unsmiling police officers. Such was the scene at the annual Million Marijuana March on May 1 as weed advocates converged at the southwest corner of Washington Square Park. There, the jubilant crowd— the police claim it was 4000 people while organizers say 20,000— began rehearsing their favorite chant: "We smoke pot and we like it a lot!"
The procession ambled down Broadway to Battery Park, where hippie chicks in tie-dyed skirts twirled to reggae beats and FUBU-clad teenage boys did a brisk business selling Phillies blunts for $1 each. White kids from SUNYNew Paltz and b-boys from East New York mingled freely while gray-haired hippies ran around overseeing the event, which was led by Dana Beal, the 52-year-old former Yippie leader who has organized this march since 1973.
The point of the rally, Beal says, is to repair marijuana's reputation. "They think this is about legalizing pot," he says. "It's not. It's about separating pot from hard drugs. We're doing it by creating separation within the drug culture itself through education. Pot smokers are no longer on a conveyor belt to being junkies. Eighty-six percent of pot smokers do not do any other drug. The majority believes marijuana is different. They may have tried other drugs, but they don't like them." (According to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, about two-thirds of marijuana smokers do not use other drugs.)
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