NYC Cannabis Parade Redux: A Month Ago Today

Curved Papers Founder Michael O'Malley address the NYC Cannabis Parade 2018

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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