Weed Activist Dons Pot-Leaf Costume to Promote “Pop Up Weed Garden”
You may have been lucky enough to see Hempy the Weed Leaf running loose in Philadelphia yesterday – but if not, there will be plenty of him to go around at a “Pop Up Weed Garden” planned for this Thursday in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Marijuana activist Nikki Allen Poe donned the costume yesterday to promote the celebratory event, scheduled for 4:20 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on the two-year anniversary of marijuana decriminalization in Philadelphia – which Poe and fellow activist Chris Goldstein helped to make happen.
Behind the camera was Mike Whiter, a Marine Corps veteran and a medical marijuana advocate.
Attendees are encouraged to BYOW — bring your own weed – as long as it doesn’t exceed the decriminalized limit of 30 grams. The event will also feature light snacks and refreshments.
Poe said the pop-up is an attempt to normalize social marijuana use – much like the way the city treats alcohol consumption through events like Sips and Diner En Blanc.
“We thought it’d be a good way to have a public coming-out party and have people see it’s not just people getting high together – it’s about having a community that’s forming and trying to make a positive impact on the city,” Poe said. “Our history has always been a lot of public organizing, and at this point with it being a more accepted thing, it’s a lot more interesting.”
Of course, the Art Museum has nothing to do with the event (besides providing a beautiful backdrop), and those who fully participate risk facing $100 fines from the city for smoking in public – though Poe said he isn’t too worried about backlash and stressed that the event is meant to be a relaxed celebration, not confrontational.
The city has saved roughly $9 million since marijuana was decriminalized in 2014. Instead of arresting those carrying 30 grams or less of marijuana, police can now issue fines – which has led arrests for marijuana possession to fall by roughly 80 percent.
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