Feeling a different kind of Bern, advocates for legalizing marijuana march on DNC

About 100 protesters armed with three 51-foot inflatable joints gathered around noon at City Hall in Philadelphia for the pro-marijuana legalization demonstration, JayWalk.

As the heat index climbed to 106 degrees, they were joined by hundreds of other protesters making their way down Broad Street to the Wells Fargo Center, where the 2016 Democratic National Convention was set to begin.

The march was put together by members of the group NORML, whose mission is working for reform marijuana reform laws in the United States.

The high number of police officers surrounding City Hall didn’t put off the organizers, who encouraged JayWalk participants to light up their own joints.

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“Know your rights, light up and if you are approached by a police officer, be polite, accept the $25 ticket, and come back and join us,” Pennsylvania NORML board member Chris Goldstein shouted through his megaphone.

“I’m actually surprised Philadelphia is so nice,” said an out-of-town protester, perhaps because of the almost jovial atmosphere surrounding the crowd and their police escorts.

Even in the heat and humidity the police kept their cool joking with some of the protesters, who suggested changes to police uniforms.

“Shorts would be nice, but I don’t think they would go with my shoes,” one officer responded. “Well, maybe a tank top,” a protester suggested. “Yeah, that would be nice, I’d have three guns to show off,” the officer said as he jokingly flexed his bicep.

The walk took off an hour late down the blocked off Broad Street, with legalize marijuana chants alongside pro-Bernie Sanders chants as the marchers finally made their way south.


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