Organizers put on two-day Freedom Rally on Boston Common

freedom rally boston hempfest boston common
A vendor gives a bong demonstration during the 2013 Freedom Rally on the Boston Common.
Credit: Michael Naughton/Metro

Despite thinner than usual crowds on Sunday and permitting issues, organizers of the annual pro-marijuana Freedom Rally on Boston Common said the first-ever two-day version of the event was a “tremendous success.” 

The 24th annual Freedom Rally, put on by the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition, was held over two days for the first time. It almost didn’t happen that way after the city parks department issued MassCann a one-day event permit.

However, after a court request seeking an injunction, a judge allowed MassCann to put on the two-day festival.

It’s that decision that organizers said they will use to keep the two-day festival going.

“We expect to hold that as a precedent,” said Bill Downing, MassCann’s treasurer.

Crowds were sparse as the second day of the festival opened. Some people sat out on the hill near the center of the Common watching the crowds below weave their way through the vendors selling countless glass pipes, pro-marijuana hats and shirts, jewelry, hula-hoops and other items.

Boston police officers questioned a group of four people sitting on the hill and appeared to be giving them a citation for possession of marijuana.

Just yards away, Ricky, Leo and Lindsey, a group of teens from the South Shore, sat on the hill with Ricky and Leo passing a glass pipe.

Ricky, who like his friends did not want to give his last name, said he was nervous about getting a citation, but came out enjoy the festival anyway.

“It’s a beautiful day to come out and get high,” he said.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


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