51-Foot Inflatable Joint Resurfaces During Pot Protest at Democratic National Convention

By McCarton Ackerman 07/27/16

At least two dozen protesters marched for three miles with the giant inflatable joint to protest in favor of legalization and the descheduling of marijuana.

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51-Foot Inflatable Joint Resurfaces During Pot Protest at Democratic National Convention
The 51 foot joint at a White House protest back in April. Photo via YouTube

Marijuana activists made a statement on Monday by carrying a 51-foot-long joint across downtown Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention. 

CBS News reported that at least two dozen people made the three-and-a-half mile haul with the massive inflatable joint from City Hall to the Wells Fargo Center. While the giant joint was inflating, a group of topless women wearing pot leaf pasties handed out marijuana-related literature and posed for pictures.

"We're here to let the DNC know that we want them to legalize cannabis federally, and we want it descheduled, not rescheduled," said Mary Beth DeGray, a registered medical marijuana patient who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and Crohn’s disease. "It's a plant, and you don't have to try it if you don't want to, but everyone should have the right to have access as a first resort—not a last resort.”

But while the inflatable joint certainly drew attention, some say there's still a lot more work to be done for pot law reformers. Long-time political activist Dana Beal lamented that “we can’t seem to get the people to talk to us,” but said that’s remained an ongoing issue. He also expressed frustration that Hillary Clinton didn’t respond to a letter Beal sent to her campaign headquarters regarding marijuana legalization, but vowed to still vote for her.

"We've been demonstrating Democratic conventions since 1964,” he told CBS. "We want to see people go from a mostly alcohol and tobacco world to a mostly marijuana world."

The 51-foot joint also made an appearance in April near the White House. Hundreds of marijuana advocates who took part in the event, created to push for reducing marijuana from its current Schedule I classification by the federal government, staged a “smoke-in” in front of the White House. Protestors also called out President Obama and claimed that he had been silent on the subject for too long.

"We’re tired of being ignored," said D.C. cannabis activist Adam Eidinger to the Washington City Paper. “Since we’ve legalized here and 70 percent of the public voted for it, you don’t think [President Obama] could send a letter ... any communication? Somehow the president has this sterling reputation on cannabis.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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