Boston Freedom Rally For Marijuana Legalization: 21 Years And Counting!

At one of the cradles of the American experience with First Amendment principles of peaceful protest, petitioning the government for grievances and political organizing, the 21st annual Boston Freedom Rally will take place today from high noon to 6PM on the historic Boston Commons.

If you live in Massachusetts or the surrounding states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island or Connecticut, come on out to a great day of music, speeches, vending and protest on the Boston Common!

30 thoughts

  1. I wish you much luck today with the rally. Medical Marijuana should be available in ALL 50 States, we should be protesting the Pharmaceutical Industry … pharmaceuticals are killing people at an alarming rate… I know this first hand because prescription meds almost killed me … I moved from FL to CA because of the Medical Marijuana laws and for the first time in years I got a clean bill of health from my primary doctor … no meds anymore … only medical marijuana. It has helped tremendously with arthritis, migraines & severe back trauma. I wish you many blessings with trying to get this passed in Massachusetts.

  2. Why do you have this event on yom kippur when half of your supporters will be at temple

    [Editor’s note: FYI…about 2% of the US population appears to practice Judaism…not 50%. The Boston Freedom Rally has been held on the third Saturday of September for 21 straight years regardless of religious holidays or east coast hurricanes. For many participants attending today’s rally Yom Kippur was both observed (no eating until sunset tonight!) and celebrated from the stage.]

  3. Didn’t they start sending undercovers to the Boston event to cite and hassle smokers, for the first time EVER, in the past couple of years? Like, despite the fact that Mass. also decriminalized in the past couple of years??

  4. He who resorts to civil disobedience obeys the laws of the state to which he or she belongs, not out of fear of sanctions, but because he or she considers them to be good for the welfare of society. But there comes occasions, generally rare, when he or she considers certain laws to be so unjust, as to render obedience to them, a dishonor. Her or she then openly and civily breaks them and quietly suffers the penalty for their breach. Gandhi

    Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appitite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.

    That is why – it is with the greatest pleasure that I inform each and every pot-phobic prohib hypocrite that whil they are up on their soap box, spewing their God awful shit all over the o]place, their bodies are producing endogenous cannabinoids (anandamide) all by their self. That’s right! their bodies are little pot factories – and – there’s absolutely nothing they can do about it – because – God has made it so! I’m laughing so hard, I’m about to pee my pants. The fact of the matter is – God created us with a cannabinoid system, cannabinoid receptors, and cannabis itself. So! who can argue with God? Right! pot-ohobic prohib hypocrites. Enough said! The truth be to God! Amen

  5. What is going on at NORML?

    In the meantime, there are so many people-human beings in prisons for inhaling, tell me again, who enjoys the little visions that cannabis bring

    I wonder about my ‘little’ soul

  6. Hopefully Prop19 passes in California in November and Rallys like these will be a thing of the past by this time next year.

    Viva Prop19

  7. wow… 2 arrests for distribution and 34 citations… out of tens of thousands of people. you would NEVER get that kind of peaceful event with alcohol being consumed

  8. WANT MORE FREEDOM? Join activists rallying in New Hampshire on 9/24/10. There will be a peaceful “redressing of grievances” / end marijuana prohibition protest at the State Liquor store in Hooksett, NH ON 9/24/10 about 4 PM. This will be held at the State liquor store just off interstate highway 93 (northbound side) . To learn more check weeda . Info. will be posted later this week, etc. SEE YOU THERE!

  9. I’m sorry but to be honest there’s gotta be some better music next year. I mean come on do you guys know your audience? There was nothing but dead t-shirts and jerry garcia and phish and tie-dye and stoners at the Freedom Rally this year, but Age Against the Machine headlines at 420?? Don’t get me wrong they were a great cover band but just not what i wanna listen to at hempfest. They told us that year was the second largest gathering in the Country for medical cannabis… well the quality of music should show that too! Get Furthur for god sakes! You’ll triple the number of attendees. People will actually pay attention to the speakers in between sets if there’s some quality music and a better atmosphere.

    I love what you all at Norml are doing and I’m glad you’re here for us. Show us you’re actually in touch with the new generation you keep trying to send your message to and I promise it’ll all be worth it in a few years when we can vote.

    [Editor’s note: Unfortunately, commercially successful recording acts very often demand performance fees that go beyond the rally’s budget and they’re not willing to perform without being paid.

    If you want to see a particular commercial musical act…go pay to see them.

    However, if you care about liberty and personal freedom, you’ll stop complaining that volunteer cannabis activists are not providing you commercial entertainment for free and actually thank the many high quality musical acts who do volunteer their time and talent.

    The Boston Freedom Rally is indeed the second largest pro-cannabis law reform protest in the world. However, the largest ‘protestival’ in the world, the Seattle Hempfest (which attracts over 200,000 over two days), has never paid the hundreds of musical acts that have volunteered their time in support of the cause.

    Clearly, cannabis law reformers don’t need to pay ‘rock stars’ to perform at reform events to attract huge pro-reform crowds.]

  10. I thought the music was INCREDIBLE!!! I can only really speak on hip hop, as I’m no expert about other genres, but I was VERY impressed…Keep up the good work MassCann/Norml…My only suggestion would be to add me to the show! lol

  11. I’m not impressed NORML. Fine write me off as a “complainer.” But in reality I’m one of the few teens in this day and age that smokes pot and doesn’t fit the “stoner” stereotype. I’m knowledgeable and educated about cannabis. I check this site daily. I’ve written articles for about legalization and always supported NORML and other groups alike. So go ahead and dismiss my comment, ignore it. But when I suggest that you change the music I’m not just bitching for no reason, I’m making a constructive suggestion that I came up with after TALKING TO HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE IN THE CROWD WHO FELT THE SAME WAY I DID. THE MUSIC DID NOT FIT THE EVENT. SORRY I KNOW ITS HARD TO HEAR BUT ITS THE TRUTH.

    If you are happy with 60,000 people then keep doing what you are doing. You’ve done a great job so far. But if you want a revolution, if you want to make change, if you want legalization you’re going to need a lot more.

    Why settle for 60,000 or even 200,000 when you could have 1,000,000? You said so yourself that HIGH QUALITY music acts costs money. I respect the musicians who volunteered to play, but quite plainly they probably volunteered because they put on a much lower quality show. Well at the 2nd largest rally put on by the #1 Pro Legalization Group in the world I guess I was expecting a HIGH QUALITY event.

    You probably think I’m just some stuck up kid who doesn’t respect “all the hard work that goes into something like this.” I do respect the work, a lot more than you know. I would/will go to the Mass Rally every year no matter what music is playing, but a lot of people will not. A higher quality venue, some bigger names, more advertising, all would be invaluable to your cause.

    That’s my opinion and suggestion. You can take it or leave it, but don’t you dare say that I don’t care about “liberty and personal freedom.” I’m only trying to make your event more significant and relevant.

    [Editor’s note: You are the dismissive one by whining about the volunteer music by popular regional bands and fantasizing about commercially successful bands playing for free (and apparently attracting a million people) to the Boston Freedom Rally, and this is supposed to be constituting a ‘revolution’.

    The Freedom Rally, Seattle Hempfest, Hash Bash, Hempstalk, Windy City Weedfest, Harvestfest, etc…are all VOLUNTEER, First Amendment-oriented real grassroots events.

    If you think 50,000-60,000 people attending an all volunteer Freedom Rally is not relevant, then you’re probably not very mature or politically savvy.

    Since anyone who wants to use the Boston Common need only apply for a permit, you’re invited to put on your revolutionary event with popular musical acts rocking out a million cannabis law supporters.]

  12. Isn’t it annoying when one random person tries telling you that everything you’ve been doing is wrong? The money is for Marijuana law reform, not sellout artists who refuse to volunteer for a great cause…60,000 people and growing…How many people go to your freedom rally Craig?

  13. Ok jeez norml you guys win. I don’t understand where the fire is coming from. You ignore any compliment or praise I give, and in turn refuse to accept any kind of constructive criticism I offer. I’m just posting a suggestion about the genre of music being played.

    Seems like I at least struck a nerve though for the editor to have to come personally battle me in the comments section.

    And Complects please did you even read my posts? I’m complaining about the music dude not the rally. I said I will be going every single year, come on at least read before you comment. Anyways I digress…

    Well it looks like you’re definitely reading me now so at least I’m getting through. So, to make things better… IMHO…. the music genre’s gotta change next year. Doesn’t have to be sellout “rockstars” as you call them. The music didn’t fit (again, imo). Some sweet hippy, stoner, funky, trippy jam music would’ve been real cool. That would’ve fit the vibe you should be going for. Plus That will get the attendee’s more interested in the event AND the speakers…. Come on the band that came on last, the one that painted themselves and talked like robots, they were totally ridiculous. I don’t know what people were thinking (im sorry but thats my opinion and I’m entitled to it)

    And one more gripe, this one I am being very serious about. Please make sure that the speakers actually know what they are doing/saying when they get up on stage. The lady (I didn’t hear her name, she was running for some kind of office) who failed miserably attempting to read a lame cookie cutter speech off a piece of a paper was embarrassing. I’m serious she showed no knowledge of medical cannabis, the rally, her audience, nor did she show any real passion or enthusiasm surrounding the issue. It was on obvious move for more votes and it made me question how legitimate our movement is in the eyes of our politicians. I don’t want to be taken as a joke.

    Again you guys can write me off as a complainer, a whiner, or call me a troll in the comments but honestly, this is coming from a huge norml supporter who just wants to see this thing get better, and this year I was let down. But only let down by the issues I commented on above (I’m sorry haters put away the torches and pitchforks)

    Thats my opinion take it or leave it.

    [Editor’s note: Why don’t you get involved with MassCann/NORML’s event planning committee so that you can possibly help determine who is on stage next year rather than whining post the event because you didn’t like this speaker or that musical act?

    No whining in the War Room!]

  14. OK Craig…Firstly, yes, I did read every word you wrote. Don’t go accusing me of not reading before I responded…DUDE. So let me get this straight, you didn’t like the music, and the speakers? What other parts of the rally were there? There’s always room for good, constructive criticism, but its all about how its said. I definitely don’t usually listen to some of the bands that performed, but I respected that they were there. Its not that you’re wrong about your thoughts, its that you sounded negative in the way you wrote it down. I happen to like hip hop. If i wanted more of it at the rally i would have said “great music! Hopefully next year there will be even more hip hop acts.” Nothing rude, and I got my opinion heard.

  15. No one is whining Mr. Editor. The kid is simply saying that the age against the machine band and the weird painted band aren’t what the younger generation of stoners is all about. I mean there should never be a mosh pit at a marijuana reform rally. That just doesn’t make sense, thats not the kind of environment 99.5% of the people want at these kind of events. No one is whining and asking you guys to get a mainstream band to come down to Boston, we’re just saying pick the genre of your music better. You say you want to connect with our generation? Then why don’t you listen to our opinions instead of just pushing them away as young adults whining?

  16. Deal Editor I get it no more whining, the music debate is over, I will look into how my suggestions can be heard for next year.

    However since you seem to respond to everything I say I would honestly like to know your opinion about the politician I mentioned. Was she older and couldn’t remember the speech? Did she get selected at the last minute? Was she just totally unprepared? Or are we really that insignificant in her eyes? This is a legitimate question and I am very interested in what guys have to say on the matter.

    Sorry Complects.. my dude.. bro.. homie.. kind sir.. criticism is just that, criticism. If you can’t take it and objectively consider it then nothing changes, no innovation, no improved attendance at these rallies, nothing. You’re right I didn’t enjoy the style of music being played. I respect that those groups volunteered their time and effort but, personally, I didn’t find them that great. Especially since(kudos to “are you kidding me” above)the music didn’t fit the rally environment. Maybe it’s harsh but if everyone that didn’t like the music said “whatver the music was good” then nothing will change and this thing will never get better.

    [Editor’s note: Please direct your localized inquiries to the NORML chapter that hosted the event….]

  17. dont apologize son, chief, kid, lil Craigy in the place to be…JK man… I’m actually a local rapper check out my weed song “Mary Janie” and lemmy know if u think its freedom rally worthy…

    PEACE and Keep giving your opinion, this is America

    (Sry I didnt post in the local chapter link, but this is my last post, and I wanted to make sure he got)

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