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Don’t Rain On My NYC Cannabis Parade

By Stu Zakim

It was a cold rainy Saturday May 4 in NYC as the 49th annual NYC Cannabis Parade and Rally began its roster of speakers before heading from Herald Square to Union Square Park. Emcee Leo Bridgewater encouraged the crowd, many under umbrellas, to embrace the chant “What do we want? JUSTICE. When do we want it ? NOW, as speakers addressed the social injustice issues that have plagued the marijuana industry.

mjbacurvednycparade

As the parade began, the skies opened again, but, as the marchers, escorted by NYC’s finest, felt nothing as they focused on the mission at hand – drawing attention to the fight for Cannabis legalization in NYC and NJ. And, yet, as if karma, upon arrival at Union Square, the clouds disappeared, the sun came out and the rally kicked off in front of a crowd that easily topped 5000.

The crowd was addressed by a number of speakers, including local NYC officials like recently-elected New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Assembly Member Richard Gottfried (District 75, Manhattan) as well as Cannabis industry leaders like Joy Beckerman, Michael O’Malley of Curved Papers and others.

RainNYC
The musical lineup featured some amazing performances from  Clip Payne’s 420 Funk Mob (including members of Parliament-Funkadelic), Brooklyn’s High & Mighty Brass Band, the CCB Reggae All Stars (formerly the High Times Cannabis Cup Band), rappers Cambatta and SCRIBE the Verbalist, and the East Village’s SoulCake.

nyccannabisparadeband

The NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally’s coalition partners included Empire State NORML, Women Grow NYC, Drug Policy Project, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Cannabis Cultural Association, Start SMART New York, New Jersey Cannabusiness Association, High NY, Revel, LatinoJustice, Hemp Industry Association, Patients Out of Time, Marijuana Business AssociationGreen Party of New York State, A Rebel Minded Society, Freedom Leaf, Honeysuckle, Infuzes and Good Deed Entertainment.

The Event sponsors are Dutch company Sensi SeedsEtain Health, one of New York’s medical cannabis providers with dispensaries in Manhattan (142 E. 39 St.), Yonkers and Kingston; hemp supplier Tonic; grow-box manufacturer SunBud SolutionsCannaGather; Presto DoctorCurved Papers; and TribeTokes.

stuandfriends

The day ended with a massive 420 smoke out at 4:20; it was a very successful event.

NYC Cannabis Parade Redux: A Month Ago Today

By Michael O’Malley

NEW YORK: New York Gubernatorial hopeful Cynthia Nixon thrilled the crowd on a perfect Spring Day.  I had taken the opportunity that Steve Bloom, Editor of Freedom Leaf and Celebstoner.com, had given me to speak at the NYC Cannabis Parade on May 5th seriously, because it seemed to me like the chance of a lifetime for a New Yorker to stand up in Union Square to say anything.

So I wrote and wrote everything I could think of saying. In the end, I thought if I only get to say one thing what would it be? Vote. But I forgot to say it.  It’s funny the month-a-versary is Primary Day in eight states. At least here I’ll remember to say, it’s an election year people! November 6th. Be there.

New York Gubernatorial hopeful Cynthia Nixon thrilled the crowd on a perfect Spring Day.

New York Gubernatorial hopeful Cynthia Nixon thrilled the crowd on a perfect Spring Day.

Here’s what I wound up saying on that fine Saturday:

“Hello New York! Hello New York Cannabis Community!”

“I want to thank Steve Bloom for inviting me to represent innovators and entrepreneurs in the cannabis space. He was the first one to write a product review of Curved Papers.”

“I invented a new kind of rolling papers. They’re curved, that makes it easy to roll.”

“I got one fun fact: the first big rally in Union Square happened on 4/20! It was April 20th, 1861.”

“You guys know who NORML is? Yeah. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law. NORML. We need ’em more now than ever. They are like the New York Yankees of Legal Weed. And Keith Stroup is like the Babe Ruth of Legal Weed.”

“Keith says “we’re not just talking about marijuana, we’re talking about personal freedom.” Okay? But they say there are Red people and Blue people. We need a big red, white and blue party. Even Met fans and Yankee fans should get along!”

At this point I reversed my reversible Mets/Yankees Jacket and Stu Zakim of MJBA, who had done a great Curved Papers commercial for me in his introduction, chimed in with, “Look at that fashion statement! A true New Yorker!” And with that we started threw out free rolling papers and Curved Papers t-shirts to the audience. The whole thing was so much fun!

I unveiled my sacrilegious reversible Mets/Yankees jacket. Unthinkable! It’s a symbol of diametrically adversarial parties finding common ground and unity at a higher level.

I unveiled my sacrilegious reversible Mets/Yankees jacket. Unthinkable! It’s a symbol of diametrically adversarial parties finding common ground and unity at a higher level.

“Everybody get along! Happy Cannabis Parade!”

Stu said. “Go MJBA!”

“MJBA says pop culture is pot culture.”

“Happy Cinco do Mayo!”

“Remember The Kentucky Derby!” Which was also that day, and just about to start.

“Good Shabbos!” Stu added for good measure.

Emcee Amanda Reyes came out to extroduce us, but I had to add …

“CCA NORML!” Because the big news of the day was an announcement that Cannabis Cultural Association was turning into a new NORML Chapter.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beXsW6yaVQs&w=560&h=315]

Here’s the really long version of the speech that would have taken forever and put everyone to sleep if they didn’t give me the hook halfway through:

Hello New York! Hello New York Cannabis Community!

I’m Michael O’Malley. Like most people, I was born in Brooklyn. I’m eighth of my parents 14 kids. I’ve invented a new kind of rolling papers! Yes, a new kind of rolling papers that are easy to roll. They have a patent-pending easy to roll curved edge.

A lot of good rolling papers have come from New York. E-Z Widers, Raw, Bambu. They are all from New York. And now Curved Papers.

Growing up in Brooklyn, going to Holy Innocents in Flatbush, I never imagined I would have a chance like this. Or that it would be because of weed!

Thanks Steve Bloom (of Freedom Leaf) for inviting me to speak, primarily as an innovator and entrepreneur in the cannabis space.

I finished my speech yesterday and it timed out to 4:20. I only have three minutes, so I’ll have to talk fast. No problem. Everyone from my neighborhood talks really fast.

My invention, Curved Papers, with the easy to roll curved edge, solve the centuries old RYO (Roll Your Own) problem: if you’re not careful to keep your edges parallel, your front corner doesn’t tuck, it goes up. Our innovation is super simple, and genuinely makes it Easy to Roll.

I’d like to lend some encouragement to the work we’re doing and the fun we’re having here. I guess I was invited because I made a cool invention and started a company. The business and commerce opportunities with weed are important.

We call the West-to-East Green Wave of legalization and mainstreaming: Cannafest Destiny!

We call the West-to-East Green Wave of legalization and mainstreaming: Cannafest Destiny!

 

I love New York! I’ve worked in every building in Manhattan. When people ask me where I’m from, I usually say Penn Station. The Beatles, The Rolling Stone, High Times, Saturday Night Live, Gangs of New York; I’m a life-long fan of New York pop culture, and as David Rheins of MJBA says, “Pop Culture is Pot Culture.” We call the West-to-East Green Wave of legalization and mainstreaming: Cannafest Destiny!

It brings us all to Union Square today. Fun fact: the first big rally in Union Square happened on 4/20! Yes, April 20th, 1861, at the start of The Civil War. The Confederates had attacked Fort Sumter, and the Civil War was joined. Union supporters gathered here to demonstrate their resolve and their readiness to respond. True story. Have you ever seen Gangs of New York? I’ve watched that movie 500 times. Martin Scorcese.

Don’t let history be a thing of the past. Fast forward over 100 years later, this parade we’re having today was founded here in the revolutionary times of John Lennon and the Yippies, after the end of the Sixties. Those were the days of the founding of NORML, too. Like I always say, fifty years of NORML, 30 years of HEMPFEST, next thing you know, weed is legal.

michael with mjba button

But the Pot Parade very much started here, like traffic lights, labor laws, and so many other modern progressive thinking.

The Global Marijuana March came later and they merged and now the whole thing is over 40 years old, with 40 global chapters. I think this is actually the 47th in New York City.

At Curved Papers, we’re in touch with people in many cities around the world marching today in solidarity. We want to give a special shout out to Toronto, where we started making the papers. They have a great parade up there today.

Now the “Global Marijuana March” is “the NYC Cannabis Parade and Rally.” I’m very proud Curved Papers could be a part of it this year. I was going to do a cheer for the Marijuana Movement in New York, like, say “Hello Marijuana Movement,” and go:

Give me an M! [Throw one.] M!

Give me an A! [Throw one.] A!

Give me an R! [Throw one.] R!

Give me an I! [Throw one.] I!

Give me an H! [Throw one.] H!

Or would it be give me a J?  Forget it.

Is it Marijuana, with a “J,” or Marihuana with an “H?” It doesn’t matter how you spell it, or what name you prefer – cannabis, marijuana, ganga, dope, pot, mary jane – they’re all good. As Keith Stroup, the Founder of NORML, says, “We’re only incidentally talking about marijuana – what we’re really talking about is personal freedom.”

The word marijuana never meant anything bad to me, that negative vibe was created by newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst who didn’t want the hemp industry to overtake paper. So he launched a campaign – yellow journalism – the dawn of Fake News – to exploit the anti-Mexican racism of his day!

NORML is The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law. They’ve been fighting for legalization and getting people out of jail for 50 years. They’re like the New York Yankees of legal weed, and Keith is like the freaking Babe Ruth. Like I always say, “50 years of NORML, 30 years of HEMPFEST, next thing you know, weed is legal.

We have designed and produced 100% organic hemp rolling papers that will help support them. We need NORML now more than ever.

"we're very proud to be associated with NORML. This commercial program will help sustain the world-changing work that NORML does to protect personal freedom and reform our nation’s marijuana laws."

“We’re very proud to be associated with NORML. This commercial program will help sustain the world-changing work that NORML does to protect personal freedom and reform our nation’s marijuana laws.”

New York has been the largest marijuana market in the world for decades, and probably still is. The no flower thing is a mixup, but legalization will work out. The medical programs here and in all our neighboring states are evolving. I heard at Cannabis Learn that they were going to allow flower in PA by Memorial Day. And in Florida soon, too. There is no reason to try to force people away from smoking the flower. Nobody gets cancer from smoking marijuana. Flower, paper and fire. That is a simple, natural way that has worked for centuries. Stay close to the plant!

There’s only 9 states down. 41 to go.

We can achieve the rule of law without racism and the oppression of women and children. But only by voting. Election Day is Tuesday November 6th: Register (now), Educate (yourself and others), and Vote. Find someone who doesn’t vote and get them to register and vote.

The two party system is not that bad. Who’s in power goes back and forth. The will of the majority and the rights of the minority. It’s fair. Trump and the 1% are trying to dismantle government. Capitlism gone wild. Reform is necessary, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

There are only four things wrong, and people are working on them. Gerrymandering, voter access, lobby reform and campaign finance reform. Barak Obama and Eric Holder are working on gerrymandering. That’s when the ruling party distorts the electoral districts to make sure they can never lose an election. Voter Access! Lobby reform and campaign finance reform, starting with Citizens United. Don’t lose faith in democracy. Don’t lose faith in government.

Engage in political action. Support your local activists and advocates. Know your representatives, and bother them all the time. Vote. That’s the main thing. Register and vote Nov. 6th.

Today people are polarized by the incredible influence of contemporary media. There are red people and blue people. But in real life, most people seem to agree on most things. What we need a big red, white and blue party. We always need to find ways to work together to get the big things done right.

Only 14% of Americans are marijuana smokers, but 80% of Americans support the rights of states to legalize it. And over 80% support medical marijuana in their state.

Curved Papers is a national sponsor of The Marijuana Business Association. If you want to find out about opportunities in Cannabis, The MJBA is a great place to start. Curved Papers also sponsors and supports many aspects of the legalization movement. Always let us know when your group is having a cannabis event.

 

Curved Papers is a national sponsor of The Marijuana Business Association.

Curved Papers is a national sponsor of The Marijuana Business Association.

Some business advice to the inventive or entrepreneurial: I invented Curved Papers when I was 20 years old. Keep track of your good ideas. When the time comes, make a business plan, and get the capital you need to make it happen. This is capitalism. Right now there is a lotta money going down in the cannabiz. Investors are a dime a dozen, so if you’re an inventor or entrepreneur, don’t let them tell you the opposite. You need to protect your ideas. Immediately file a provisional patent, which only costs $100 and covers you for a year. This is one reason we have a government, by the way. Figure out the right way to do your thing, and if it requires capital, find partners who have what the project requires, and make a fair deal, in writing. Work with partners you trust, but be formal. You don’t want to own 100% of nothing.

Curved Papers also sponsors and supports many aspects of the marijuana movement, legalization, medical applications, veterans, women, criminal justice, anti-racism, sustainability, and personal freedom.

Smoking a joint is still the #1 way to consume cannabis, a natural and economical way.  Doctors and nurses agree: it’s generally a fine way to take your meds. Nobody gets cancer from smoking joints. It burns at relatively low temperature, and it is easy to moderate dosage. And everybody agrees it’s a very nice way to get high, and fun to do with friends.

Keep on rolling!  Follow us @curvedpapers on all platforms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cynthia Nixon To Speak At NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally This Saturday, May 5

In its 47th year, the Event starts in Midtown and marches to Union Square Park for an afternoon rally

NEW YORK, N.Y. – New York’s longest running annual pro-cannabis event, the NYC Cannabis Parade and Rally, returns for its 47th year this Saturday, May 5. Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon will be speaking at 2:30 pm in Union Square Park. Nixon is challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic Party nomination. She recently stated: “In 2018, in a blue state like New York, marijuana shouldn’t even be an issue. If there was more political courage coming out of Albany we would have done this a long time ago.” A powerful slate of elected officials, including two state legislators and three City Council Members, will be speaking from stages in Midtown and Union Square Park throughout the day. They elected officials are:

  • NY State Senator Jesse Hamilton (State Senate District 20, Brooklyn/Queens)
  • NY Assembly Member Richard Gottfried (State Assembly District 75, Manhattan)
  • NYC Council Member Rafael F. Espinal (City Council District 37, Brooklyn)
  • NYC Council Member Jumaane Williams (City Council District 45, Brooklyn) and a candidate for New York State Lieutenant Governor
  • NYC Council Member Donovan Richards (City Council District 31, Queens)

The Event begins at 11 am with a pro-legalization speak-out at the assembly point at W. 31 St. and Broadway. State Sen. Hamilton and Council Member Williams will be among the speakers at W. 31 St. At 12:30 pm, the parade marches down Broadway to Union Square Park, where speakers and musicians will engage and entertain the crowd from 1-5 pm.

Additional speakers include: 

  • Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels who is now using medical marijuana to treat Crohn’s disease
  • Stuart Appelbaum, President, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU)
  • Joy Beckerman, President, Hemp Industry Association (HIA)
  • Joel Giambra, Former County Executive of Erie County and candidate for Governor
  • Yasmin Hurston, President, New York Minority Alliance
  • Howie Hawkins, Green Party candidate for Governor
  • Tanya Osborne, NYC/Bronx Market Leader, Women Grow
  • Leo Bridgewater, President, NY/NJ chapters, Minorities for Medical Marijuana
  • Cristina Buccola, Esq., member, New York Cannabis Bar Association
  • Justin Strekal, Political Director, National NORML
  • Shira Adler, Author, The ABCs of CBD

The performers are:

  • Immortal Technique
  • Chief Rocker Busy Bee
  • Lord Digga da Highsman
  • Real One
  • Lunar Tourists
  • Ismael Levi
  • King Ras Pedro
  • Comedian Rob Cantrell

Check out the full lineup of speakers and performers here.

The Event’s emcees are the Cannabis Cultural Association’s Jake Plowden, Nelson Guerrero, Amanda Reyes and Joseph A. Bondy. The NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally’s Coalition Partners are: Drug Policy Alliance, Women Grow NYC, Empire State NORML, High NY, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, CannaGather, Hemp Industry Association, Patients Out of Time, Marijuana Business Association, New York Minority Alliance and the Green Party of New York State. The Event sponsors are the Dutch company Sensi Seeds; Etain Health, one of New York’s registered medical cannabis providers with dispensaries in Manhattan (142 E. 39 St.), Yonkers and Kingston; Curved Papers; and Flower Power Coffee Co.


STATEMENTS FROM EVENT SPEAKERS AND PERFORMERS 

Cynthia Nixon: “I believe it’s time for New York to follow the lead of nine other states and Washington, DC and legalize recreational marijuana. There are a lot of good reasons for legalizing marijuana, but to me it comes down to this: We have to stop putting people of color in jail for something that white people do with impunity. Ninety percent of the New Yorkers arrested for marijuana are black and Latino, despite the fact that whites and people of color use marijuana at roughly the same rates. The consequences follow people for the rest of their lives, making it harder for them to get housing or jobs. In addition to ending a key front in the racist War on Drugs, regulating and taxing marijuana would generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for our people and create important agricultural opportunities for our state. The simple truth is for white people the use of marijuana has effectively been legal for a long time. Isn’t it time we legalize it for everyone?”

NY State Senator Jesse Hamilton: “Nine states and the District of Columbia have decided to legalize and regulate marijuana. By joining these states, New York would allow law enforcement to prioritize real public protection needs. Alongside broken windows policing, our outdated marijuana laws direct police resources, court time and the justice system’s authority at people who are not violent, not dangerous and do not pose a threat to the public. We must continue to work towards the day that New York rejects the deeply flawed policies of the past, embraces sensible reform and passes the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act.”

NY State Assembly Member Richard Gottfried: “We need to move beyond the outdated and broken marijuana prohibition model to a sensible tax-and-regulate system. But that’s only part of the solution.  Even in states with legal adult marijuana use, there is still evidence of unequal law enforcement practices targeting minority c communities. We must ensure that those most victimized by the criminalization of marijuana benefit from the social and political progress around the issue, including reforming criminal justice processes and ensuring widespread participation in the marijuana business boom.”

NYC Council Member Jumaane Williams: “We must expand out medical marijuana program to include all those who can benefit from its use,” adds Council Member Williams. “We also should rapidly move towards the full legalization of marijuana, expunge state criminal records of past users and create a pathway for all New Yorkers to benefit economically from this industry, not just a select few chosen by the Governor.”  

NYC Council Member Donovan Richards: “It’s a weird time when New York City finds itself to the right of former House Speaker John Boehner, but unfortunately that is where we are with about 17,000 marijuana arrests in 2017. We must stop the practice of flooding our prisons with marijuana offenders and disproportionally impacting communities of color now. Marijuana is not a threat to our public safety and our youth cannot wait any longer as a one minor mistake can stick with them for the rest of their life”

Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU): “I have no doubt that recreational marijuana will soon be legal in New York – as it should be. The criminalization of marijuana has resulted in racial and social injustice because of its disparate enforcement, and has denied its use as another tool in the war against opioid abuse. And we need to make sure that when it is legalized that workers in the industry are treated with dignity and respect, and have a union voice. The sooner marijuana is legalized the better.”

Immortal Technique: “For the entirety of my musical career I have been a huge proponent of the decriminalization of marijuana. Since I was a young man I began to research and learn about hemp and cannabis, and especially about it’s connection to the prison industrial complex. It’s for this reason that I have continued to support the movement. The idea of transformative justice is not just to correct the laws that are on the books treating weed smokers like murderers, it’s also the need, the inescapable necessity, to deal with the convictions that have sent thousands to prison and burdened them with criminal records. I will continue to fight not only to decriminalize it, but also to battle for transformative justice because without it, all the recent change in marijuana laws become meaningless.

Giambra Will March In NYC Cannabis Parade On Saturday

NEW YORK:  It was back in January in frigid Buffalo that former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra called for the “toughest, tightest regulated” legalized marijuana bill in the United States as a way to raise billions of dollars in tax revenue to fix New York State’s crumbling infrastructure.

Giambra called taxing legalized recreational marijuana “a much more appropriate way to solve our problems than raising new taxes,” the first gubernatorial candidate this year to propose legalizing cannabis.  But within days, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed in his budget plan a study to look at the impact of legalizing marijuana for recreational use. The tidal wave had begun.

On Saturday (May 5), Giambra, who is seeking the support of the Reform Party in his bid to replace Cuomo, will lead a group of supporters in New York City’s annual cannabis parade down Broadway to Union Square Park where he will be among the speakers addressing the gathering.

“It is time we join with the other states that have moved to legalize marijuana and take advantage of the enormous opportunity we have to raise money to deal with our very serious infrastructure problems, including the subway system in New York City,” said Giambra.  “We don’t need any more studies. We need to act, and act now, for the benefit of the people of the great state we call home.”

NYC Cannabis Parade is May 5

NYC Cannabis Parade is May 5

The annual event is dedicated to ending cannabis prohibition, stopping racially motivated arrests, and improving the state’s medical marijuana program.  In March, Giambra released results of a detailed financial analysis, saying it showed that marijuana tax revenues could equal $500 million a year.

“That’s about half a billion dollars a year that’s making its way through the underground black market economy which to me makes no sense,” Giambra said at the March press conference, talking about how New York is losing funds that could be put to use helping the state address its very serious problems maintaining roads, bridges, and subways.

“I’ll be marching in the rally with several of my supporters and will address the crowd at Union Square Park as a sign of my commitment to this effort,” said Giambra.  “This state needs to finally join the nine other states that have recognized the great benefits that can be achieved by legalization and begin the road down that path sooner rather than later.  Let’s hope this year’s rally will help stimulate the momentum needed to get our lawmakers to act.”

Giambra, who grew up in a Buffalo housing project, was one of the city’s youngest council members and served for nine years as Buffalo comptroller.  He also won two terms as Erie County executive, running as a Republican in a heavily Democratic stronghold.

“I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth and I have worked very hard to try and help others through my political efforts,” said Giambra.  “I believe we can help a broad section of our population by legalizing recreational marijuana, both medically and financially, and that’s why I’m going to be there Saturday adding my support to the effort.”

Elected Officials And Industry Leaders To Speak At NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally This Saturday, May 5

In its 47th year, the Event starts in Midtown and marches to Union Square Park for an afternoon rally

NEW YORK:  New York’s longest running annual pro-cannabis event, the NYC Cannabis Parade and Rally, returns for its 47th year this Saturday, May 5.  A powerful slate of elected officials, including two state legislators and three City Council Members, will be speaking from stages in Midtown and Union Square Park throughout the day. The elected officials are:

  • NY State Senator Jesse Hamilton (State Senate District 20, Brooklyn/Queens)
  • NY Assembly Member Richard Gottfried (State Assembly District 75, Manhattan)
  • NYC Council Member Rafael F. Espinal (City Council District 37, Brooklyn)
  • NYC Council Member Jumaane Williams (City Council District 45, Brooklyn) and a candidate for New York State Lieutenant Governor
  • NYC Council Member Donovan Richards (City Council District 31, Queens)
RESIST PROHIBITION, REALIZE, LEGALIZE NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally is Saturday, May 5th

RESIST PROHIBITION, REALIZE, LEGALIZE NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally is Saturday, May 5th

The Event begins at 11 am with a pro-legalization speak-out at the assembly point at W. 31 St. and Broadway. State Sen. Hamilton and Council Member Williams will be among the speakers at W. 31 St. At 12:30 pm, the parade marches down Broadway to Union Square Park, where speakers and musicians will engage and entertain the crowd from 1-5 pm.

Additional speakers include:

  • Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels who is now using medical marijuana to treat Crohn’s disease
  • Stuart Appelbaum, President, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU)
  • Joy Beckerman, President, Hemp Industry Association (HIA)
  • Joel Giambra, Former County Executive of Erie County and candidate for Governor
  • Yasmin Hurston, President, New York Minority Alliance
  • Howie Hawkins, Green Party candidate for Governor
  • Tanya Osborne, NYC/Bronx Market Leader, Women Grow
  • Leo Bridgewater, President, NY/NJ chapters, Minorities for Medical Marijuana
  • Cristina Buccola, Esq., member, New York Cannabis Bar Association
  • Justin Strekal, Political Director, National NORML
  • Shira Adler, Author, The ABCs of CBD

The performers are: 

  • Immortal Technique
  • Chief Rocker Busy Bee
  • Lord Digga da Highsman
  • Real One
  • Lunar Tourists
  • Ismael Levi

• King Ras Pedro

  • Comedian Rob Cantrell

Check out the full lineup of speakers and performers here. 

The Event’s emcees are the Cannabis Cultural Association’s Jake Plowden, Nelson Guerrero, Amanda Reyes and Joseph A. Bondy.

The NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally’s Coalition Partners are: Drug Policy Alliance, Women Grow NYC, Empire State NORML, High NY, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, CannaGather, Hemp Industry Association, Patients Out of Time, Marijuana Business Association, New York Minority Alliance and the Green Party of New York State.

The Event sponsors are: Dutch company Sensi Seeds; Etain Health, one of New York’s registered medical cannabis providers with dispensaries in Manhattan (142 E. 39 St.), Yonkers and Kingston; Curved Papers; and Flower Power Coffee Co.

STATEMENTS FROM EVENT SPEAKERS AND PERFORMERS

NY State Senator Jesse Hamilton:

“Nine states and the District of Columbia have decided to legalize and regulate marijuana. By joining these states, New York would allow law enforcement to prioritize real public protection needs. Alongside broken windows policing, our outdated marijuana laws direct police resources, court time and the justice system’s authority at people who are not violent, not dangerous and do not pose a threat to the public. We must continue to work towards the day that New York rejects the deeply flawed policies of the past, embraces sensible reform and passes the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act.”

NY State Assembly Member Richard Gottfried:

“We need to move beyond the outdated and broken marijuana prohibition model to a sensible tax-and-regulate system. But that’s only part of the solution. Even in states with legal adult marijuana use, there is still evidence of unequal law enforcement practices targeting minority communities. We must ensure that those most victimized by the criminalization of marijuana benefit from the social and political progress around the issue, including reforming criminal justice processes and ensuring widespread participation in the marijuana business boom.” 

NYC Council Member Jumaane Williams:

“We must expand out medical marijuana program to include all those who can benefit from its use,” adds Council Member Williams. “We also should rapidly move towards the full legalization of marijuana, expunge state criminal records of past users and create a pathway for all New Yorkers to benefit economically from this industry, not just a select few chosen by the Governor.” 

NYC Council Member Donovan Richards:

“It’s a weird time when New York City finds itself to the right of former House Speaker John Boehner, but unfortunately that is where we are with about 17,000 marijuana arrests in 2017. We must stop the practice of flooding our prisons with marijuana offenders and disproportionally impacting communities of color now. Marijuana is not a threat to our public safety and our youth cannot wait any longer as a one minor mistake can stick with them for the rest of their life”

Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU):

“I have no doubt that recreational marijuana will soon be legal in New York – as it should be. The criminalization of marijuana has resulted in racial and social injustice because of its disparate enforcement, and has denied its use as another tool in the war against opioid abuse. And we need to make sure that when it is legalized that workers in the industry are treated with dignity and respect, and have a union voice. The sooner marijuana is legalized the better.”

Immortal Technique:

“For the entirety of my musical career I have been a huge proponent of the decriminalization of marijuana. Since I was a young man I began to research and learn about hemp and cannabis, and especially about it’s connection to the prison industrial complex. It’s for this reason that I have continued to support the movement. The idea of transformative justice is not just to correct the laws that are on the books treating weed smokers like murderers, it’s also the need, the inescapable necessity, to deal with the convictions that have sent thousands to prison and burdened them with criminal records. I will continue to fight not only to decriminalize it, but also to battle for transformative justice because without it, all the recent change in marijuana laws become meaningless.”


ABOUT THE NYC CANNABIS PARADE & RALLY

The Event was founded by the Yippies (Youth International Party) in 1971. It has served as the flagship for the multi-decade mass movement for cannabis legalization and has taken place in various locations around the city over the years, including Washington Square Park, Battery Park and Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. The Event moved to Union Square Park in 2012. The mission of the Event is to promote marijuana legalization federally and specifically in the New York Metro area, end discriminatory arrest practices and the mass incarceration of citizens and improve the state’s overly restricted medical cannabis program. The NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally is the founding chapter of the Global Marijuana March, which takes place in hundreds of cities in the U.S. and around the world in May and June. For more information: cannabisparade.org

 

NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally Is May 5th

The 47th Annual Parade starts in Midtown and marches to Union Square Park for an afternoon rally

NEW YORK: New York’s longest running annual pro-cannabis event, established by The Youth International Party (Yippies) in 1971, the NYC Cannabis Parade and Rally, returns for its 47th year on May 5.   A powerful roster of elected officials, including two state legislators and three City Council Members, will be speaking from stages in Midtown and Union Square Park throughout the day.

They include:

• Assembly Member Richard Gottfried (State Assembly District 75, Manhattan)

• State Senator Jesse Hamilton (State Senate District 20, Brooklyn/Queens)

• Council Member Rafael F. Espinal (City Council District 37, Brooklyn)

• Council Member Donovan Richards (City Council District 31, Queens

• Council Member Jumaane Williams (City Council District 45, Brooklyn) and a candidate for New York State Lieutenant Governor

NYC Cannabis Parade is May 5

NYC Cannabis Parade is May 5

The Event begins at 11 am with a pro-legalization speak-out at the assembly point at W. 31 St. and Broadway where State Sen. Jesse Hamilton and Council Member Williams will be among the speakers. At 12:30 pm, the parade marches down Broadway to Union Square Park, with speakers and music starting at 1 pm in the park and continuing until 5 pm.

“Nine states and the District of Columbia have decided to legalize and regulate marijuana,” says Senator Hamilton. “By joining these states, New York would allow law enforcement to prioritize real public protection needs. Alongside broken windows policing, our outdated marijuana laws direct police resources, court time and the justice system’s authority at people who are not violent, not dangerous and do not pose a threat to the public. We must continue to work towards the day that New York rejects the deeply flawed policies of the past, embraces sensible reform and passes the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act.”

The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act is currently being considered by the New York State legislature.  “We must expand out medical marijuana program to include all those who can benefit from its use,” adds Council Member Williams. “We also should rapidly move towards the full legalization of marijuana, expunge state criminal records of past users and create a pathway for all New Yorkers to benefit economically from this industry, not just a select few chosen by the Governor.”

Additional speakers and performers include: 

• Stuart Appelbaum, President, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Workers (RWDSU)

• Howie Hawkins, Green Party candidate for Governor

• Joel Giambra, Former County Executive of Erie County and candidate for Governor

• Immortal Technique

• Chief Rocker Busy Bee

• Lord Digga da Highsman

• Real One

• Davey Fresh

• Ismael Levi

• Comedian Rob Cantrell

Check out the full lineup of speakers and performers here.

The Event’s emcees are the Cannabis Cultural Association’s Jake Plowden, Nelson Guerrero, Amanda Reyes and Joseph A. Bondy.  The NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally’s Coalition Partners include Drug Policy Alliance, Women Grow NYC, Empire State NORML, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Hemp Industry Association, Patients Out of Time, Marijuana Business Association and the Green Party of New York State.  The Event sponsors are the Dutch company Sensi Seeds, and Etain Health, one of New York’s medical cannabis providers with dispensaries in Manhattan (142 E. 39 St.), Yonkers and Kingston.

Protesters In NYC Call For Legal Marijuana In New York

NEW YORK:  Hundreds of demonstrators rallied in New York City‘s Union Square on Saturday to call for the legalization of marijuana in New York State.

NYC Cannabis Parade organizer Troy Smit told NBC News the annual event, first held in 2012, aims to “end the war on drugs, release the medicine, free the prisoners, heal the sick, and unite the nations.”

Colorado, Washington, and Alaska have already legalized the recreational use of marijuana. In February a law went into effect in Washington, D.C., that made carrying small amounts of pot legal. Oregon voters passed a law legalizing pot that is set to take effect July 1.

 

Stu Zakim Joins MJBA Publishing Advisory Board

Former Rolling Stone, Playboy and American Media Publicist providing his experience, network and support to the leading media company and cannabis industry association

NEVADA: MJBA Publishing, the parent company behind the influential Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) and the publishers of MJ News Network, Marijuana Channel One and MJ Headline News, has announced that Stu Zakim, legendary entertainment industry publicist and founding member of the New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts chapters of the MJBA, has joined MJBA as Chief Communications Officer and Member of its Board of Advisors.

MJBA Corporate Communications Chief Stu Zakim and NORML:'s Keith Stroup

MJBA Corporate Communications Chief Stu Zakim and NORML:’s Keith Stroup

Zakim has provided counsel to a variety of iconic media leaders including Jann Wenner, Bonnie Fuller, Christie Hefner, David Pecker  and their publications — Rolling Stone, Playboy, Us Weekly, Shape and Star magazine among others. A frequent guest on cable tv news programs, Zakim’s PR experience includes campaigns for some of the most popular and successful films and television shows in recent history as an executive at Columbia Pictures, Universal Pictures and Showtime Networks.

Stu and NFL Champion Marv Washington

Stu and NFL Champion Marv Washington

“We are thrilled to have Stu Zakim join officially as MJBA’s head of communications and a member of our Board of Advisors,” said David Rheins, MJBA founder and executive director.  “With more than 30 years of experience managing communications for the world’s leading media brands:  Rolling Stone, Playboy, Universal Pictures, American Media and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, his encyclopedic knowledge of communications and his deep professional network will be instrumental as MJBA forges strategic relationships with media and business partners.”

Curved Papers founder Michael O'Malley, MJBA's Stu Zakim and The Blinc Group's Sasha Aksenov

Curved Papers founder Michael O’Malley, MJBA’s Stu Zakim and The Blinc Group’s Sasha Aksenov

““I am thrilled to be expanding my role with the MJBA and its leader Dave Rheins,” Zakim told MJ News. “After a 40 year career of publicizing some of the best known brands, I can’t think of a better next chapter than using my skills to help change the image of and removing the stigma from this amazing plant.”

Curved Papers founder Michael O'Malley and Stu Zakim at the 2018 NYC Cannabis Parade

Curved Papers founder Michael O’Malley and Stu Zakim at the 2018 NYC Cannabis Parade

In its first five years, the Marijuana Business Association has quickly established itself as one of the leading national b2b organizations in legal cannabis. Established to provide business intelligence, professional networking and new business opportunity, MJBA hosts regular industry networking meetups, boot camps and seminars in Washington, Oregon, Colorado and New York and Ohio, with MJBA Massachusetts and MJBA Nevada communities scheduled to activate in Q2 2018.

MJBA Founder David Rheins, 420MEDIA CEO Kerri Accardi and Stu Zakim

MJBA Founder David Rheins, 420MEDIA CEO Kerri Accardi and Stu Zakim