The 2016 Boston Freedom Rally Prepares For Question 4
ReLeaf Media - By. Mike Perry - 09/14/2016
During the third weekend of September, the 17th and 18th this year, the 27th annual Boston Freedom Rally will be taking place once again on the Boston Common. This year, MassCann will be putting on the most important and historic Freedom Rally to date. The Rally’s main focus this year is getting out the information and knowledge Massachusetts voters need to be able to answer Question 4 on the November 4th ballot-wether or not to tax and regulate cannabis within the state of Massachusetts.
The Boston Freedom Rally, also known as “Hempfest”, is the second largest cannabis activism gathering in the country and always gives it’s participants a fantastic, informative and safe weekend filled with positive uplifting vibes and thousands of likeminded people joining together to end cannabis prohibition.
Bill Downing of MassCann and organizer of the Freedom Rally is very excited about Question 4 being on the ballot and says attendees can expect “The biggest and best Freedom Rally ever” and told us to expect “beautiful music, beautiful people, beautiful smiles, beautiful glass, useful info, contacts, dancing, relaxing, eating and more.”
There will be two stages of music, speakers, and activism as well as a cannabis education village, vendors, and delicious food Saturday 12-8p & Sunday 12-6p.
The education village will be a main resource for all voters and legislators to be educated on eight important areas of concern so they can be properly informed for election day. It is with high hopes these discussions will teach something new to their visitors and sway them to be in favor of taxing and regulating cannabis in Massachusetts.
The eight pop up tents will each be discussing the important issues titled “Prohibition is Destroying Our Communities,” “Activism Helps,” “Repair the Community,” “Support Groups,” “Cannabis is Human Kinds Manhattan Project,” “Cannabis is an Essential Health Supplement,” “Recipes on How to Grow, Make, and Take,” “Your Own Medicine,” and “Spirituality, Peace, and Love.” There will also be a tent for panel discussions that will also be streamed live on masscann.com.
The music this year is enough alone to draw an incredible amount of people down to the Boston Common. Both stages will have dozens of artists in various genres performing the length of the Rally. There will be a good amount of reggae performances this year, as well as a “Rave on the Common” with DJ Julee + DJ Leah headlining on Saturday and Hip Hop legends Method Man and Redman will be the headliners Sunday. The lineup has something for everyone at every point of gathering.
One of the premier sponsors of the event this year is Greenleaf Magazine. We have Real One flying in from California. He is one of the top hip hop artists supporting cannabis,” said Brett Cogill of Greenleaf Magazine. “We are also very excited for the 65k people that will come out to support our cause. Boston George from the famous movie “BLOW” will be at our booth signing autographs as well.”
There will be countless vendors with booths all over the common promoting, selling, and informing visitors of their place in the culture and cannabis industry. There are always newcomers to learn about and old favorites to revisit. You’ll be sure to leave with plenty of new friends, contacts, and a great state of mind from being around so many likeminded people.
Scott Bettano, founder of Social High, is a major sponsor of the Freedom Rally this year and expects it to be huge and very important. “We are most excited about the anticipated turn out and energy of the crowd. We decided to get involved with big sponsorship this year for a few reasons. First off, Boston is our home and always will be. We very proud to be part of the Cannabis Culture in Massachusetts and the associated start-up community. That being said, this is an important time for not only the State of Massachusetts, but the Cannabis movement as a whole. We wanted to do our part in helping bring out the crowd to the Freedom Rally and educate as many people as possible on the benefits of Voting Yes on Question 4.”
Scott remarks, “We think it's important people know these benefits and understand their vote has the ability to foster positive change come November. We are very grateful to MassCann for allowing us to get involved to make that happen. With the board behind us and the team of Co-sponsors in Boston Smoke Shop, Xperience Creative and The Hardy Consultants, this year promises to be possibly the biggest rally to date!”
You can download Social High on Android or IOS to find a smoke buddy for this year’s Rally!
Bill Downing also gave us some useful tips for everyone heading into the city.
”Arrive stoned. If it's sunny, bring sunglasses and sun screen. It's always nice to have a blanket, but many just sit on the grass. The vending area gets crammed in the late afternoon. Get there early, if you want a more relaxed shopping experience. Booze on the Common is not cool. Bring something for the 4:20 celebration and share it. Boston cops can be a pain in the ass, but the Park Rangers are cool, for the most part. Parking is available under the Common, entrance on Charles Street (one way). The flat rate for Saturday and Sunday is $18.00. The height limit is 6’, 3”. The garage fills up quickly after 10am.”
Make it down to the Boston Common the 17th + 18th and come together to vocalize with thousands that we want an end to marijuana prohibition and we want a yes from all on Question 4.
The Vermont senators remarks on pot were a big hit with the studio audience.
By Phillip Smith / AlterNet
Democratic presidential nomination contender Bernie Sanders said Wednesday he is open to legalizing marijuana as he appeared on the "Jimmy Kimmel Live" show on ABC.
The Vermont senator said he wanted to learn the lessons of marijuana legalization from Colorado and other states that have already legalized pot use.
But then he added, "I am not unfavorably disposed to moving toward the legalization of marijuana. We have more people in jail than any country on earth," he told Kimmel. "We have large numbers of lives that have been destroyed because of this war on drugs, and because people were caught smoking marijuana, and so forth. I think we have got to end the war on drugs."
The studio audience liked what it heard, bursting out in hoots and hollers and wild applause at Sanders' comments.
Alluding to another Sanders proposal--to provide consumer banking services as post offices--Kimmel then asked if the senator was open to combining the proposals, "And maybe have the postal carriers deliver marijuana to people?"
"That will get rid of the federal deficit pretty quickly, won't it?" Sanders retorted.
Sanders made similar pro-legalization comments last week during the Democratic debate in Las Vegas when he and other candidates were asked if they would support a 2016 ballot measure to legalize pot in Nevada. Sanders said he would be inclined to vote for it, while Hillary Clinton was uncommital.
By Stephanie Barry
SPRINGFIELD - The public is warming to the idea of medical marijuana dispensaries as the state's final deadline for applicants nears, according to a new survey by the Western New England University Polling Institute.
A statewide telephone survey of 517 adults conducted earlier this month found that 74 percent support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, while 21 percent oppose the policy and another 5 percent were undecided. Meanwhile, 61 percent of adults said they would support a dispensary in their community; 30 percent said they would be opposed and 9 percent were undecided or declined to answer.
Approval to introduce medical marijuana shops came through a ballot measure in the 2012 general election. The initiative won approval from voters 63 to 37 percent.
The polling institute showed support for the practice has grown significantly since the last time it posed the question to voters - just before the 2012 ballot question. That survey showed 63 percent supported the policy, with 29 percent in opposition.
"The survey data indicate that Massachusetts residents have embraced the concept of medical marijuana in increasing numbers," said Tim Vercellotti, director of the Polling Institute and a professor of political science at Western New England University.
The deadline to submit final applications is Nov. 21, and must be hand-delivered.
Vercellotti credited the state's public awareness campaign with growing support among the citizenry.
"As public awareness increases, support seems to go up as well. Public education may play an important role as state and local officials consider locations for the dispensaries."
Locally, several prominent members of the business and political landscape have emerged as contenders to open medical marijuana shops.
Heriberto Flores, president of the New England Farm Workers Council, who has significant real estate holdings downtown and elsewhere, has teamed up with former state Senate Minority Leader Brian P. Lees to form a nonprofit company called Debilitating Medical Treatment Centers. R. Lyman Wood, of Hampden, has pledged $500,000 to back the company if it wins a state license.
That company has already won preliminary approval from the state earlier this year along with 57 other applicants. The state requires that applicants are nonprofit organizations with broader human service missions and are well-capitalized.
Under the law, the state can license up to 35 dispensaries, including at least one but no more than five in each county.
Flores told a reporter this week that his company is moving forward but declined to say which community it intends to target.
"Full steam ahead," he told a reporter during a visit to the Statehouse.
Prospective applicants have bemoaned widespread moratoriums in cities and towns across the Pioneer Valley including in Springfield, Agawam, Longmeadow, Hadley, Hampden, Westfield, Hatfield, Palmer and and Williamsburg. And, local support is critical to applicants.
In Chicopee, officials passed an ordinance allowing medical marijuana shops but included tight zoning requirements. One applicant, Robert Carp of Baystate Alternative Health Care, said previously he toured the entire city and was unable to find a suitable building. However another applicant, Manuel Esteves, has a proposal under review by the City Council for a site at 658 Fuller Road.
Former state senator turned lobbyist Stephen J. Buoniconti, a clerk in C Care Inc., won preliminary approval from the state but said he and his partner are still mulling whether to go forward.
"The application is a behemoth, quite a few people may not go forward," Buoniconti said, citing concerns over the moratoriums, the need for major security details around the facilities required by the state and uncertainty about whether voters may legalize marijuana altogether through a 2016 ballot measure. "But some groups are forging ahead; we're still making that determination internally."
The polling institute results, however, found that respondents' attitudes toward legalizing marijuana altogether were tepid.
Forty-one percent of adults polled said they support full legalization, with 51 opposed and 8 percent undecided.