I Was at N.A. Poe’s Pot Party Saturday Night Right Before It Got Raided
On Saturday evening, hundreds of people showed up at a warehouse space in Northeast Philadelphia for one of marijuana activist N.A. Poe‘s legendary pot parties known as Philly Smoke Sessions, intent on buying medical-grade marijuana, pot-infused brownies, and chocolates that will get you really, really high. Unfortunately for Poe and some of the attendees, the cops showed up as well, about 30 minutes after I left.
The party was on the second floor of 4562 Worth Street. Details on the exact number of arrests are sketchy at this point — and the Philadelphia Police Department has yet to respond to my request for more information — but bystander reports put the arrests at anywhere from ten to dozens. According to one person working the party, Poe, his girlfriend/co-organizer, and the vendors were all arrested.
“I was detained/released by swat/narcotics,” wrote attendee and marijuana activist Chris Goldstein on Facebook shortly after 8 p.m. “It is still ongoing… Poe arrested along w appx 12 others… I was in metal cuffs w swat narcotics. They searched me twice, hands down my boxers. Was told by narc capt ‘we are are doing this because marijuana is still illegal’.”
I was invited by Poe to check out the party, and I was planning on writing about it at some point. Just not like this.
Prior to the bust, he told me that he sold 300 tickets for the event at $50 each and that vendor tables were going for $400 each.
I brought a friend along who spent about $600 on a few varieties of marijuana from a collective in New England, gummy bears, cookies, and four chocolate Punch Bars, that are said to pack quite the, er, punch. There was a lot of marijuana and marijuana products in the room, suffice to say.
I also attended one of Poe’s Philly Smoke Sessions last year in an outdoor space in West Philadelphia. I was a little confused as to how this could all go on. After all, you won’t go to jail anymore for small amounts of personal possession, but this is a commercial enterprise, and there’s major weight being moved.
Just before I left Saturday’s party, and just before the cops showed up, I saw Poe with a rather large joint — is it even called a joint when it’s that big? — and we posed for a photo as I pretended to puff on the thing.
“I’m sorry, but I didn’t even inhale anything,” I told him, sheepishly. “Pot makes me crazy.”
“Don’t worry about it,” he replied. “I blow it out all the time at these things. I have way too much to worry about.”
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