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NYC Cannabis March Gathers Unlikely Allies

Celebrities and activists in favor of weed legalization turn out in droves.

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Former NYPD cop Joanne Naughton,
legalization advocate. Photo via

By Hunter R. Slaton

05/07/12

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Competing with the primarily Corona- and Tecate-fueled Cinco de Mayo festivities in New York this Saturday was the Big Apple edition of the annual Global Cannabis March, which shambled its way from Washington Square Park, NYC’s ancestral and spiritual home of pot-smoking, to Union Square, fast becoming an Occupy Wall Street hotspot. Legalize-it luminaries in attendance included rappers Immortal Technique and King David, Yippie “Pie Man” Aron King, John Lennon musician pal David Peel (of David Peel & The Lower East Side band fame, whose 1968 debut album was the classic—and obviously pro-pot—Have a Marijuana) and Joanne Naughton, who spoke on behalf of the organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). Naughton spend 20 years in the NYPD, working undercover in narcotics and retiring as a lieutenant before becoming a Legal Aid Society lawyer. For much of her career, according to her LEAP bio, Naughton believed that the drug war was the right way to combat US drug problems. But, she said, “It slowly dawned on me that if the drug laws were working, we wouldn’t be continually hearing about these big drug busts." More pictures from the march can be seen here.

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