BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | Call it “pot for shot.”
On Tuesday, veteran pot activist Dana Beal staged a “Joints for Jabs” event in Union Square.
Anyone who showed proof of vaccination and that they were 21 years old got a free spliff. The table was surrounded by socially distanced demonstrators with anti-anti-vax signs.
The event started at 11 a.m. and was scheduled to end, fittingly, at 4:20 p.m. But the line was so long, and there was still dope to dish out, so it went for two more hours.
“The line went halfway around the outside of Union Square Park, all the way up to 17th St.,” Beal said, speaking afterward. “It was like 500 people long. We kept the pot going till 6:20 p.m., we had a lot.
“We’re going to have to do it again on May 1,” he said, referring to the NYC Cannabis Parade and Rally.
“This is good pot, man,” Beal told The Village Sun. “I smoked a joint. Because of legalization, people want really good pot. People want the terpenes,” he said, referring to volatile oils that give fresh weed its flavor and aroma and may even have therapeutic effects.
Obviously, since he was rewarding those who got vaxxed, Beal supports people getting the shot.
“I hate it when I can’t see,” he complained. “I can’t read the computer screen. I want my glasses to stop fogging up. I want to go back to normalcy. I want to get rid of the masks but we can’t do that until everyone is vaccinated. The medical marijuana people are all for vaccinations.”
Meanwhile, Beal blasted the anti-vaxxers, lumping them together with the Capitol rioters.
“The Q-Anoids and the MAGAts, the putschists — this was like 1923,” he said, referring to the Beer Hall Putsch. “This guy better not get back in — because you know what happens when Hitler gets back in.”
In the end, he said, giving people gratis ganja for proof of vaccination was a show of support to Governor Cuomo for legalizing recreational marijuana in New York State.
“He did the right thing by us,” Beal said, “we’re going to do the right thing for him.”
As of March 31, New Yorkers can possess up to 3 ounces of pot outside their homes and smoke it in public where cigarette smoking is allowed. Anyone over age 21 can also give 3 ounces of pot to anyone over age 21.
East Village journalist Paul DeRienzo covered the event, though took a break by running home to report on the Derek Chauvin verdict for WBAI radio, then returned to Union Square. He said he figured about 2,000 people got free joints. A New York Post article the day before had hyped the event.
“It was an utterly diverse crowd,” he said of the turnout for free weed. “I never saw anything quite like it.”
As the “joint session” wore on, the square also began to fill up with people ready to react to the Chauvin verdict. At 5 p.m., the Minnesota jury reached its decision: guilty on two charges of murder and one of manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. What could have become a volatile situation remained calm as people cheered the historic verdict.
“There was no rioting,” DeRienzo said, “just people hanging around smoking weed.”