Protest on 42nd Street

Mid-afternoon today, I started hearing shouts outside my place. It seemed to be coming from 42nd Street. I figured there was a protest going on and it turns out there was a protest going on.

Well, it’s near the United Nations and its near the Israeli Consolate, so what else could it be…except a legalize marijuana protest?

I left my apartment and easily caught up with them.

Mostly, it just seemed to be another group desperate to recapture the 1960s. I truly loved the signs about how they need to legalize it to help people get cured from their various ailments. (I know it is used to treat certain eye problems and to quell nasua from chemo, but there are pills for the latter and a quick Google has some sites saying it has no particular advantage for glaucoma whereas others say it’s the best thing since sliced bread for it.) There are other cited diseases it can be used for, but I have no idea as to their real status.

The crowd was doing your standard 1960s chanting and broke into song at one point (the “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” chorus was changed to “Marijuana, Marijuana, Hey Hey Goodbye” or “Good Buy” or something like that).

For a group that mostly was citing medical relevance in their signs, there was a distinct attempt at counterculture appearance. That’s fine. But the 60’s were 40 years ago. A little bit like if my generation put on raccoon coats and beanies during my college period, I guess.  (Actually, that might have been really cool, but I had no access to raccoon coats.)

I loved this last sign. “Respect Life Weeds Earth”. It’s a bit incoherent and logically very…illogical. I presume that the wielder is trying to point out that marijuana (“weed” in 1960s/70s parlance – good to know the slang of my childhood continues) is a natural substance and is thus good. I don’t know how that jump is made, but it is by lots of people.

The protest was maybe 200 people? I didn’t bother to try and count. They were all in a bunch about 50 to 70 yards long, but it was a tight bunch of people. And they were followed by a lot of cops. I wondered about the cops being in such abundance, but that’s kind of typical of NYC protests. They like to have numbers on their side.

 

 All in all, a bit of a timewarp and it gave a bunch of kids, who are probably getting ready for exams, a chance to blow off some steam. There may have been a few of them who were strongly interested in the medical angle, but they were hanging out with a bunch of stoners. (I do love my old slang.)
 
-H

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