Cannabis activists plan to march down the streets of Philadelphia carrying a 51-foot joint during a DC Cannabis Campaign event on July 25. The joint has been previously seen at Cannabis events near the White House and in New York City and makes its Philly debut around the time of the Democratic National Convention. Activists, citizens and politicians alike know cannabis legalization is a hot-button issue this election cycle. This giant joint will be used to protest prohibition and the ridiculousness of cannabis remaining a schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
Chris Goldstein of Philly NORML describes the 51-foot joint as being like “one of those big waving stick figures you see at car dealerships placed on its side so the fan blows it straight up in the air.” Basically, it’s a horizontal, joint shaped version of a wacky, waving, inflatable, arm flailing tube man from Family Guy with a lit cherry at one end.
Although the state of Pennsylvania recently legalized medical cannabis, its programs won’t be implemented for at least one year and will be one of the most restrictive in the nation when it comes to patient access. Despite the restrictions, protestors and activists hope the giant joint will spark conversations about cannabis on multiple levels.
“The marijuana movement has to bring some levity to the tense times we’re living in,” longtime activist Nikki Allan Poe told The Philly Voice. She noted that “cannabis plays a part in issues at the forefront of society right now: including the drug war, prison overcrowding, the police state and medical healing. We wanted to do a protest that’s fun.”
“Times are changing. Things are getting different. Marijuana can unite this country. We’re the new America,” Poe continued. We want to be heard, with a message of peace, compassion and care for people. This directly affects our community so we want our piece of the pie, standing up for ourselves. It’s an exciting time to be alive.”
Goldstein and Philly NORML don’t consider this a protest, but a celebration of progression regarding patient access to cannabis, legalization and decriminalization.
“Alcohol is not in the Controlled Substances Act. Tobacco is not in the Controlled Substances Act. Marijuana should not be in the Controlled Substances Act. It never belonged on the scheduled list,” Goldstein told The Philly Voice.
The convention is taking place on July 26, and there will be vote on July 27. Around these dates, there will be several cannabis related events held in the city, featuring appearances from the 51-foot joint.