Marijuana Legalization Advocates Return to Independence Mall This Friday for Smoke Down Prohibition VII

This Friday, Philly NORML and The Panic Hour return to Independence Mall in Philadelphia for the seventh installment in their monthly protests against marijuana prohibition.

From the organizers:

“After six successful rallies, The Panic Hour and Philly Norml return with the seventh edition of Smoke Down Prohibition.

We ask you to join us and peacefully sit-in at The Liberty Bell to stand up against cannabis prohibition.

This time the rally will be on Friday, July 26th and we will be gathering for the event at 4:20pm. Meeting location is Independence Mall at 5th St and Market St.

Click here for more info and to RSVP”

Speaking on the evolution of the Smoke Down events, one of the primary organizers, The Panic Hour’s NA Poe stated, “Although I will not be able to attend the protest in person, it brings me great joy that so many people are planning to stand up against marijuana prohibition by sitting in with us at the liberty bell. As Smoke Down grows and evolves, we will continue to use a blend of comedy and direct action to combat the absurdity of Cannabis prohibition.”

Chris Goldstein, writer for and Philly NORML Board Member, encouraged legalization supporters to join the protest and push for an end to the war on cannabis. “Marijuana will be legal when everyone who consumes it for medication or recreation raises their voices to the federal government,” Goldstein said, “It is a privilege to participate in ‘Smoke Down Prohibition’ at historic Independence Hall in Philadelphia. This is the only monthly event in America focused on legalizing cannabis and keeping pressure on the federal government. We will keep it growing.”

Learn about the new “sit-in” format and what to expect from the seventh Smoke Down Prohibition by watching this video created by the organizers:

We hope to see all of you by the Liberty Bell this Friday!

31 thoughts

  1. This is an interesting idea. Hopefully a lot of folks from the Philly area show up for this “Smoke Down Prohibition” sit-in this Friday. If you’re in the area, get up and go!

  2. Great event and I am sure the aroma of marijuana will really get people’s attention – you can ignore noise, banners and people but not smells. I make the same point I always make – that cannabis does not have to be about smoking and going forward I would prefer smoking not to be thought of as the de facto way to consume cannabis. Sometimes I think a protest without smoke would actually create a better impression with the non-cannabis using public (they are the ones we need to convince after all).

  3. I’m sort of with phrtao on this. Do you really think sitting there smoking is going to achieve anything other than getting you guys arrested? Why not protest legally, make noise, speak to passers by, show them you are RESPONSIBLE adults, trying to make a difference.

    How do you think it would look if you were all sat there drinking beer? I know it’s different, but many members of the public – those who we need to get on side – don’t see it that way.

    We need to professionalise somewhat if we really want to make progress.

  4. Everyone must of heard of the latest news that Colorado Springs has banned entry of retail pot shops into the city. Moderator of posts please give me knowledge of the almost 40 other towns who are banning retail shops also. It will be greatly appreciated thank you. I still am in disbelief that Colorado Springs has chosen to ban retail shops. I actually just moved from there and I never thought in a million years they would be one of the towns banning medical marijuana shops. I know I have repeated myself but please get me the list of those towns… Thanks again Paul!

    [Editor’s note: As of June 13, according to NYT article, citing the Colorado Municipal League, 36 cities have passed bans and 25 more have moratorium against allowing retail sales. CO Springs is the largest city to date to join them. If past serves as prologue vis-a-vis Alcohol Prohibition, cities and counties that initially ban sales will allow them in time because that is what their citizens want and the govts want the tax revenue.]

  5. Correction not banning medical shops from Colorado Springs I meant to say “retail” shops….. My correction on that for the above post!

  6. I totally agree w/the above 2 comments. Smoking weed during a protest to get it legalized, starting w/Medical patients,defeats the seriousness of how badly it is needed for those in pain & disease.This is not time for reaction;it needs to be taken seriously. For this reason I would tell every1 to put their weed away and keep it hidden during the rally. Getting arrested is stupid;it makes every1 appear to be there to party; this is the opposite. It’s not party time, it’s time to get the State & Federal authorities to see the benefits of marijuana for PTSD, chronic pain, cancer, bowel disease, MS, etc. ONCE it is legalized for illness, the next step is for recreational use. This should be used away from children, at home/with friends/etc. I find the “smoking” behavior at a rally silly, embarrassing, and hypocritical of the seriousness of this issue. Please keep your pot hidden during the rally! GO get high by yourself or w/friends later on. Out of public eye, away from children, etc. Thanks.

  7. Id would be there in a heartbeat, too bad my business will go to shit if I can babysit them all the time. Ill be there in spirit!!

  8. I’m with phrtao and AndyUk on this one. It’s great civil disobedience if you can afford to take that risk, i.e. not having to worry about losing your livelihood. Smoking reinforces the argument prohibitionists often use against the legalization of medical marijuana because they think it’s the only quick way of medicating if you don’t want to eat or drink a cannabis consumable. Better than smoking is vaporizing, that is if you can get your hands on the type of quality necessary for it. Nobody wants to bother trying to vape shwag. Some vaped weed can still get you off if you smoke it, depends on the temperature distribution/quality of your vaporizing & how you set it.

    You’ll be lucky if the news teams bother to show up at all.

    If you were allowed to march in the various televised parades in Philly, you could get some free publicity without smoking. I mean, since you don’t care if people see you getting arresting on tv and in the newspapers then the same people will probably love not smoking and not engaging in civil disobedience and getting the message out without the shock value to–I’m hoping–a much larger audience/chunk of the public.

    What does the city say about pro-cannabis groups in parades? Got any cannabis Mummers clubs playing songs having to do with the sacred herb? That speaks volumes when you even got Mummers promoting cannabis.

  9. The whole thing smacks of rebellion and cannabis needs to be disassociated from rebellion. We need to let people know that cannabis users are ordinary decent people (in fact better than ordinary people) and not a threat to society. I hope protestors remember this and behave cordially to members of the public wherever they may be protesting.

    Good Luck to those who protest – I wish you every success
    (I am in personal need of legal cannabis medicine !)

  10. This is all about the Pursuit of Happiness in the spot where our Founding Fathers inspired the meaning of the words. I think it’s unfortunate that today’s politicians lack the vision to see what Legalization could mean to both the Economy and the People.
    I plan to attend!

  11. Marijuana possession is decriminalized in Philadelphia. Its a $200 fine and no jail time. I don’t think the cops are going to be arresting ANYONE for smoking pot at this peaceful demonstration.

  12. I am for the cause but in most states that allow some type of cannabis use do not allow it in public. IF THE IDEA IS TO DRAW IN NEW CRUSADERS YOU WOULD BE MORE INVITING TO NEWBEE’S IF YOU WERE NOT IN THE PROCESS OF BEING ARRESTED. You can do more good at convincing the hearts and minds of others by being present and responsible. We may be better of in the future if authorities do not have memories of this behavior in public. Do not put to much trust in the philly police they have arrested in the past and tried to blame a recent crane accident downtown on mj use.

  13. “The BBC would like to apologize for the following announcement.”


    I am planning on attending a slight bit before the rest of you.

    I will be there with a half dozen of my friends, guys from various backgrounds, footballers, jocks, and some bikers. We plan on staging an alternative demonstration.

    We are going to do our best to maintain legalities as well.

    We are going to be driven to the destination by a sober driver. We are not going to have any liquor with us, but will do our best to ensure that we have enough in our blood to keep us motivated.


    This message is total sarcasm.

    The idea being, I think if there were a way to visibly contrast the effects of responsible cannabis use with the obvious and all-too-common rightfully nerve-wracking effects of excessive alcohol consumption, embodied by a stereotypically befitting group of rowdy males.

  14. Compiling the list of maladies cannabis can treat as a medicine will never be accurate until the prohibitionists cease propaganda media manipulations clouding the issues.

  15. education educate the sheeple we all must ban together a large mass movement can change the silly marijuana laws. we must unite as a people. federal government new way back when by listing pot as a class 1 drug that it would keep these issues of legalization shelved and prisons full of non violent criminals. while the government on the other hand profited from all its illegal trafficking world wide. fast & furious ring a bell billions and billions in federal coffers by keeping it illegal for the general populous. please put your biases a side join the 420 movement don’t be silent rallys venues the capitals shit stand together rise up exspose the criminality of the federal gov.
    we win.

  16. education, educate the sheeple that bought feds propaganda.feds new way back when how much money was at stake. by keeping pot controlled as class 1 drug the feds could carry out there illegal control of drugs world a people we must unite period. come together as a mass movement and exposing the criminality of the feds like fast and furious. we can sweep the feds out of controlling marijuana by mass movement support everyones rallys blogs any venue don’t be silent be heard rise up america

  17. As far as ‘rise up = speak up

    but get your words lined up, proofread,
    and use your words well

    We can do this (are doing it)
    if we continue to exercise wisdom.

    Good work – keep it up.

  18. OK folks, I just got back from the rally. Overall, I was greatly disappointed. The turnout was about 150 people. Which says to me something is wrong with the statistics gained from your average poll on pot smokers. The speakers were fine, but early on they had no microphone, which is REALLY BUSH LEAGUE. Who ever organized this event is not very good at this sort of thing. I was allowed to say a few things, so in case you were there, I was the one who answered the question about why pot is illegal with ‘BRAINWASHING’. I was also the guy who mentioned Harry Anslingers grave and that there should be a national holiday on his birthday – PISS ON ANSLIGERS GRAVE – There were 15 cops there, 1 for every 10 activists. And not one person had the balls to light up, so I left and smoked my joint on the way back to Suburban station, making dans sure everyone and anyone smelled me coming and going. They could only arrest 15 of us, and we all wimped out. We aren’t going to get very far if this is the best we can muster, folks. And for the 5 or 6 tobacco smokers there, shame on you, especially the hot chick who saw me from across the lawn and and came over to sit next to me. I left when you lit up. But I would have gladly smoked a joint and gone to jail with you.

  19. TO G G
    Thank you.Smoking pot just show every one that u are there to party. That why no one take these event as being no more than pot head wanting to get high with other pot head. Use your head. Also one must ask how many of these pot head can vote but dont. As one true pot head said to me once. Voteing is for the clownes. What a true dume ass

  20. I was there. It was a disappointing turnout. 150 people max??? 15 cops. Nobody lit up.I posted about this yesterday, but I guess you don’t post bad news even when its the truth.

  21. phrtao makes good sense….show responsibility where public consumption is concerned! how many people who dont understand about cannabis would see truth if those who consumed were to abstain and let everyone know it?….how many people would it change to see signs that may say ‘i am here even tho i cannot enjoy cannabis in the PRIVACY of my own home because i will be fired from a good job? how about to show those who dont understand, how many people consume cannabis while they are owners of companies or, successful buisness owners or, just sucessful in life!. i know many…i dont feel that consuming in public shows anything but contempt for present law,(even tho its wrong).these are all the things that those who dont understand ,need to see and here…comon folks…lose the rebellion and gain the responsibility card to show those who do not understand the good in cannabis!!….just sayin…

  22. Today’s Sunday, and I don’t feel like insulting anyone today. Remember this is about more then just the right to legal weed. This is about our nations bill of rights. Tomorrows Monday, and if my employer excepts me to pray at the safety meeting, or live by the religious rules of his church as a condition of employment then someones going to be insulted.Or maybe the Mayor Bloomburg approach, This is a sugar free company if you abuse sugar don’t bother to apply. Just imagine that a dog trained to sniff out sugar.

  23. this seems stupid…im sorry, im all for weed use medically or recreationally but sitting around a mall smoking doesnt convey anything except “move it lazy pot head, im trying to walk here” this seems like a spin off from the racial movement of the 50/60’s but it wont have the same effect, for the times have changed and so should the way we approach the way we portray ourselves. by making it comfortable for norml people to say “i smoke weed and im normal.”

  24. Gee, thanks Douglas, for that worthless, condecending, cowardly contribution. 150 people does not make a revolution. 150 people doesn’t even make a difference. There are over 200 million DAILY pot smokers, many of them wear suits. Where the phuck were they????????

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