Marijuana Supporters march with ‘51-foot joint’ at DNC

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on July 27, 2016.

In a first of its kind, marijuana supporters on Monday afternoon carried a 51-foot-long inflatable marijuana joint from Philadelphia’s City Hall to the Wells Fargo center, the home of the Democratic National Convention (DNC), seeking full legalization of marijuana.

Members of DCMJ (a community group fighting for equal rights for DC marijuana users and growers) and the Philadelphia chapter of the NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) volunteered to carry the giant inflatable joint and walked three-and-a-half miles with in sweltering temperature.

"Know your rights, light up and if you are approached by a police officer, be polite, accept the $25 ticket, and come back and join us," Pennsylvania NORML board member Chris Goldstein announced during the march.

“We’re here to let the DNC know that we want them to legalize marijuana federally, and we want it descheduled, not rescheduled,” said Mary Beth Degray, a registered medical marijuana patient who suffers from Crohn’s disease and PTSD.

With the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and numerous studies showing direct links between marijuana criminalization and disproportionate African-American arrests and incarceration, marijuana legalization and justice system reform are frequently considered an intertwined issue.

The Democratic Party recently called for marijuana to be downgraded in the Controlled Substances Act and embraced a “pathway to future legalization”. Currently, about 70 percent of Democrats are supporting marijuana legalization at the national level.

However, the Democratic nominee for US presidential poll Hilary Clinton has never admitted to smoking marijuana, and reform for marijuana legalization wasn’t a key component of her election campaign. On the other hand, Republican nominee Donald Trump has voiced support for marijuana legalization from time to time.

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