Images by Chris Faraone
Walking through the maze of friends and vendors and all specimens from planet cannabis at the 26th Annual MassCann Boston Freedom Rally this past weekend, regular Blunt Truth columnist Mike “Cann” Crawford turned to me and noted the spectacular smorgasbords of kaleidoscopic glassware lining table after table around Boston Common.
“Five years ago,” Mike said, “the police would have taken all of that away.”
It’s like I had forgotten. That despite my being there five years ago, and even 10 years ago for that matter. For too long, I was one of the many reporters who put in the requisite call to the Boston Police Department following said annual festivities, asking about how many heads were arrested. In the 2000s, there were plenty of times when that number climbed past 50, and as recently as two years ago, the police presence was enough to dent the experience.
I’m not writing this to thank the cops. While I acknowledge their superb behavior this past weekend on the Common, it’s more important to thank all the supporters and activists who have pushed the movement to this point. Without the smokers, tokers, patients, and advocates, there wouldn’t be a two-day celebration every year … or decriminalization, or medical marijuana, or dispensaries, or caregivers.
So as we move into spring and march further down the path toward legalization—and this will be a battle, you can count on that—let’s remember those who fought before us. They got us this far, and we owe it to them to finish the job properly.
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.