NYC Cannabis Parade and Rally – 2017

Giant inflatable joint that read DESCHEDULE CANNABIS NOW being passed around on Saturday at the NYC Cannabis rally which began as a parade at 11 am at West 31st & Broadway, Koreatown, NYC to march to Union Square. Hundreds of people participated to legalize the plant and support it’s medicinal benefits.
Afrikumba Utibe Drummers playing at Union Square on Saturday during the NYC Cannabis Rally


The NYC Cannabis Parade is the longest running public expression of drug policy reform in New York City. With roots as far back as the early 70’s. This event have gone by many different monikers, but our purpose remains the same, to spread awareness throughout the world! In 1999, the Million Marijuana March brand exploded and has since turned into a annual event held in hundreds of cities across dozens of countries.

Proudly Sponsored by two of the biggest names in the industry: Sensi Seeds & Weedmaps

Parade Assembly:
11:00 a.m. | West 31st & Broadway, Koreatown, NYC

Parade Start Time:
12:30 p.m. | Parade will march to Union Square (Route South on Broadway)

1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Union Square South Plaza

MCing the event; Jerry Otero (aka Mista Oh) is founder and chief troublemaker in charge at Cre8tive YouTH*ink, a creative arts social justice youth development collective

Is Weed legal in New York? No. The sale, purchase, cultivation or use of cannabis remains illegal in New York. Marijuana is decriminalized in New York, but remains federally illegal and can therefore result in fines and prison time. Simple public possession is labelled as a misdemeanor and can carry a 90-day sentence, while sales of less than 25 grams carry a $1,000 fine and a sentence of one year. Do people still get arrested for weed in NYC? Yes. New Yorkers still face shackles and prison time because of cannabis. While low-level possession is not viewed as a priority for the NYPD, people still get busted, particularly young people of color. Outrageously, over a 15-year period, 88% of all arrests for marijuana possession in New York City were of black and Latino people (even though young white people use marijuana at a higher rate, they made up only12% of arrests). Between 2002 and 2012, a report estimates that the NYPD spent 1 million hours making over 440,000 possession arrests. In 2012 alone, the NYPD made 39,218 low-level possession arrests which equated to 98,045 hours spent. New York has also faced staunch criticism for the racist nature of its arrests – a 2013 report discovered that African Americans in Brooklyn were 9 times likelier to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites. Brooklyn decriminalized possession in 2013 in a direct effort to curb this blatantly bigoted practice. How do I assert my rights if I’m stopped by the police? Here’s some great advice from our friends at the New York ACLU: “You should ask if you are under arrest or free to leave … you are not required to carry ID, and you don’t have to show ID to a police officer. If you are issued a summons or arrested, however, and you refuse to produce ID or tell officers who you are, the police may detain you until you can be positively identified. Don’t bad-mouth a police officer or run away, even if you believe what is happening is unreasonable. That could lead to your arrest.” For more info see,,
All My Friends Are Stars performing at the NYC Cannabis Rally on Saturday at Union Square
Todd Hinden wearing a marijuana suit addressed the crowd about getting cannabis legalized in NY.
Chris Alexander of Drug Policy Alliance,, spoke about legalizing and decriminalizing cannabis needs to “Go hand in hand with Police reform, needs to go hand in hand with Liberty.” Chris said of his organization, that it is dedicated to reforming the way law enforcement interacts with our community, reinvesting in our community, takin our tax revenue and rebuilding the hood. We’re bringing legalization to NY” Drug War Statistics Did you know…. Amount spent annually in the U.S. on the war on drugs: More than $51,000,000,000 Number of arrests in 2015 in the U.S. for drug law violations: 1,488,707 Number of these arrests that were for possession only: 1,249,025 (84 percent) Number of people arrested for a marijuana law violation in 2015: 643,121 Number of those charged with marijuna law violations who were arrested for possession only: 574,641 (89 percent) Number of Americans incarcerated in 2014 in federal, state and local prisons and jails: 2,224,400 or 1 in every 111 adults, the highest incarceration rate in the world Proportion of people incarcerated for a drug offense in state prison who are black or Latino, although these groups use and sell drugs at similar rates as whites: 57 percent Number of states that allow the medical use of marijuana: 28 + District of Columbia Number of states that have approved legally taxing and regulating marijuana: 8 (Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington) Number of states that have decriminalized marijuana by eliminating criminal penalties for simple possession of small amounts for personal use: 20 Number of people killed in Mexico’s drug war since 2006: 100,000+ Number of students who have lost federal financial aid eligibility because of a drug conviction: 200,000+ Number of people in the U.S. who died from a drug overdose in 2015: 52,404 Tax revenue that drug legalization would yield annually, if currently-illegal drugs were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco: $46.7 billion Number of people in the U.S. who have acquired AIDS directly or indirectly from syringe sharing: 360,836 people, or 30 percent of all people diagnosed w/AIDS in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that syringe access programs lower HIV incidence among people who inject drugs by: 80 percent More Resources Get additional facts at the Drug War Facts website.
Musical performers doing there thing at the NYC Cannabis rally at Union Square on Saturday to bring awareness and education to the realities of the cannabis issue and how criminalizing what is really a health issue creates ore problems and destroys communities.
Vision The Brooklyn Psychedelic Society, aims to embrace a spirit of community and pluralism. There are many legitimate ways to relate to and benefit from the psychedelic experience, and a psychedelic society should help foster an environment in which these different perspectives can coexist together. It should avoid advocating for any one idea or plan of action, and instead, remain open-minded, tolerant, and adaptable. In line with this vision, the Brooklyn Psychedelic Society seeks to unite and connect the different psychedelic communities that already exist within Brooklyn and the larger New York area, and to cultivate a community-wide conversation about psychedelics that will help shape the post-prohibition psychedelic future. Mission The core mission of the Brooklyn Psychedelic Society is to build community and provide a home for psychedelic explorers. We’ve created an event calendar that points to psychedelic oriented events in the New York area where new relationships and social networks can be formed. The repeated in-person interactions between psychedelic enthusiasts of varying identities can result in unique pairings, friendships, companies, meetups, and artistic groups, that wouldn’t have otherwise existed. The psychedelic society should also showcase cutting edge content that is produced and generated by discussions and meetups held within the group. Organizers will facilitate conversations between philosophers, lawyers, architects, writers, artists, psychologists, scientists, and others. The content released on our blog might range from writings on the phenomenology of the psychedelic experience, to podcasts documenting the local psychedelic culture, to thought-experiments on a post-prohibition world. Our community does not exist in a vacuum but rather within the larger context of a society that has prohibited psychedelics. It is imperative, therefore, that we engage the wider community in a conversation about psychedelics. These engagements might take the form of activism like a “Bicycle Day” ride, national advocacy campaigns like “Psychedelics Because,” lectures or open-house meetings at the library, and the creation of educational materials like harm reduction guides.
Irvin Dana Beal is an American social and political activist, best known for his efforts to legalize marijuana and to promote the benefits of Ibogaine as an addiction treatment. He is a long-term activist in the Youth International Party (Yippies). He founded the Yipster Times in 1972 – Wikipedia
Frank Sha Francois, Green Candidate Congress district 5 spoke about being a part of the Green Party that isn’t bought, sold or controlled by Corporate owned Democrats and Republicans “Who have passed Laws that have locked up innocent people for no reason. Marijuana is nothing but a flower, it’s a plant but, the Democrats and Republicans have passed Laws that cost people like you your freedom”.


Speakers & Organizations include:
New York State Assembly member Richard N. Gottfried • New York City Council member Rafael L Espinal Jr.Dana Beal, Cures Not Wars • Christopher Alexander, Drug Policy Alliance • Doug Greene, Empire State NORML • Rob Robinson, New York Cannabis Alliance • Jo Anne Zito • Vote James Lane, Green Party of New York State • Frank Sha Francois, Green Party of New York State • Kimberleigh Krepp Capitol District Cannabis ConsortiumACT UP New YorkAron Kay and more to be announced…

Live Music and Entertainment includes:
Lord Digga Da Highsman • Rockness of Heltah Skeltah • DAVID PEEL & THE LOWER EAST SIDE (In Tribute to #DaivdPeel) • Temple Dragon BandGrandmaster Caz • Cheif Rocker Busy Bee • Fantuzzi MusicIshmael leviSquala Orphan • All My Friends Are Stars • and more…

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Cat April Watters

Author: Cat April Watters

On a Truth Diet! Purging myself of all the LIES from Society.