More Marijuana Rallies Might Be Budding in Boston
A ‘Smoke Out’ is being planned, and the annual Freedom Rally is running an extra day.
In less than a week, the official medical marijuana regulations crafted by the Department of Public Health will go into effect, and already, activists are planting the seed for the next step in the pot saga—full on legalization of the drug.
In what seems to be an attempt to rally those in support of following in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington, where marijuana was legalized by voters in November, a Facebook group has started the “Massachusetts Smoke Out,” similar to other pro-pot gatherings held in the city annually.
According to event organizers, on Saturday, June 8, “citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will gather at the Boston Common and State House area to call attention to the benefits of legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana.”
The group’s aim is to make Massachusetts the third state to legalize marijuana, and encourages people to meet up with “instruments, singing voices and art.”
Legalization is something that members of the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition have been rolling forward for years, holding similar rallies and gatherings to the one the “Smoke Out” is promoting in June.
MassCann’s event is typically held in September on the Common, and brings bands, activists, and sometimes big names in politics (last year they had former Congressman. Barney Frank).
On April 20, a day celebrated by smokers nationwide, MassCann had it’s biggest turn out for another annual event they have on the Common as they celebrated with a “puff of free spirit.” The group said police were “nowhere to be seen around 4:20 p.m. as a great cloud of well-being and shared sense of community wafted over the heads of the celebrants.”
According to Bill Downing, Treasurer of MassCann, he isn’t surprised that additional support for full-on legalization had begun to grow in Boston, since Massachusetts recently passed a ballot initiative to make the drug available to constituents for medicinal purposes. “Activism is a good thing and people standing up for the rights, and I would never argue against that,” he says. Downing is “certain” that marijuana will be legal in Massachusetts by 2016. “And that [opinion] is not going to change anytime soon.”
Downing added that this year’s “Boston Freedom Rally,” will push the message of supporting legalization by extending the gathering for an extra day, something they haven’t done in the 23 years they have been holding the event.