Tuesday, May 18

Free marijuana for those vaccinated against coronavirus in New York


After the recent legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use, activists have celebrated their informal day on Tuesday by giving it to those who have received the vaccine against Covid-19

A woman, with her documentation
A woman, with her vaccination documentation and a jointAngela WeissAFP
  • USA New York Joins Other States in Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

Coinciding with the unofficial world marijuana day, activists and defenders of its legalization in New York have given away cigarettes of this drug this Tuesday. to all people over the age of 21 who can show they have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Literally, if you have received your vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna or whatever and you can show your vaccination card today to show that you have put it on, then we are going to give you a free joint,” Todd Hinden assures Efe, while distributing Cannabis cigarettes in central Union Square.

Under the equestrian statue of the first president of the United States, George Washington, who according to a passerby has his arm extended because he also wants to smoke, Hinden has dressed for the occasion in a tailcoat printed with green marijuana leaves and a hat of matching cup.

Almost a hundred people waited their turn with the vaccination card in hand to receive his award this Tuesday, April 20, which in the United States is written as 4/20, a number that is synonymous with marijuana.

“Today is a happy day, it is April 20, today we celebrate marijuana, which is legal in the state of New York and it is good that people who have received the vaccine can take a free joint,” Bill assures Efe while waiting your turn.

The hope of a return to normality after the pandemic

Cameron has just received his second dose of the covid vaccine and while he was returning home he learned about the initiative. Feel free to stop by Union Square to pick up a bundled unit of marijuana that he enthusiastically displays. “It’s exciting, things are moving forward and we are going to get out of this”, confesses wearing a colorful red mask on a sunny spring morning in New York

Among the organizers of the initiative is the pro-marijuana activist Dana Beal, one of the main promoters in 1999 in New York of the Global Marijuana March, which is held annually on the first Saturday of May.

“We have prepared some wonderful big, long and fat joints. Anyone who can teach us (who has been vaccinated) can get in line. These are people who have been vaccinated and they come to take their joint,” says Beal, who shows his desire that everyone can be vaccinated as soon as possible so that they can return to normal life and live without a mask.

Marijuana, “as American as apple pie”

For the activist, just as people can get a free donuts or a beer, if they have been vaccinated, today they can take a marijuana cigarette, which for Beal “is as American as apple pie.”

The veteran defender of this drug referred to the numerous initiatives launched by restaurant and coffee chains in which they offer products or discounts to encourage Americans to get vaccinated.

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could do without these masks? All we have to do is get vaccinated and we can do without them,” he says before complaining about the deniers and blaming former President Donald Trump for stoking the feelings of people who refuse to be vaccinated. .

It is 11:30 a.m., the line is long and the cast promises to continue until 4:20 p.m. (to mark today), but Hinden, who while distributes the joints that he keeps in transparent bags one lights up, he is convinced that there will be for all.

“I’m not entirely sure, but we’ve made about 3,000 joints, possibly. And what we’re trying to do is make people aware of the situation and go get vaccinated and take care of themselves and help everyone get back on track. normal, if ever things are normal again, “he says right in front of several signs that read” joints due to punctures. ”

Marijuana is legal in New York since March 30

New York legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use on March 30, after years of discussions in the legislative chambers. According to the authorities, the regularization of this drug, which is legal in 14 other states and in the capital Washington, could generate $ 350 million in annual taxes and create between 30,000 and 60,000 jobs.

With its legalization, it also wants to give priority to the marginalized communities, which are the ones that have suffered the most from the police and judicial repression against the use of this drug.

“This is a historic day in New York, one in which the mistakes of the past are corrected by ending harsh prison sentences; in which an industry is embraced that will grow the economy of the ‘Empire State’ (New York ), and a day that gives priority to marginalized communities so that those who have suffered the most are the first to reap the benefits, “said Governor Andrew Cuomo at the time.

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