New York citizens who have received the COVID-19 vaccination were able to enjoy a lovely surprise: cannabis joint. Activists who were celebrating the recent legalization of marijuana in New York handed out free joints in Manhattan to anyone who could prove he or she had received at least one vaccine jab.
“This is the first time we can sit around and legally hand people joints. We’re supporting the federal effort to roll out vaccinations. And we’re also trying to get them to legalize weed federally,” said Michael O’Malley, who was one of the organizers of the “Joints for Jabs” giveaway in Union Square.
A way to celebrate 4/20
The event organizers chose April 20 as the date to mark 4/20, which is a yearly day of celebration amongst cannabis fans. Apart from New York, cannabis activists also gave away free weed in Washington DC. Dozens of relaxed-looking people formed an orderly queue as the distribution process in New York began at 11:00 AM (1600 GMT).
The event was scheduled to last until 4:20 PM, and participants had to wait only ten minutes at most in the spring sunshine. Participants had to show their vaccination card, on paper or via phone, and give their e-mail addresses to receive a cannabis joint. One woman held a sign with the writing, “Pro-vaxx, Pro-weed.”
Cannabis smokers’ field day
The event saw each cannabis smoker get a free joint, while some ended up with more. Sarah Overholt, 38, was lucky to leave with two joints after showing vaccination cards belonging to herself and her 70-year-old mother. According to her, both marijuana and the vaccine are essential.
“I smoke every day, and I am a better person if I smoke, trust me. Everybody should get vaccinated. It should not be a weed that is getting them there. But if it works, then it works”, Overholt said with a smile.
Meanwhile, Alex Zerbe, a 24-year-old trader with an office nearby, agreed. He had already received both doses of the vaccination and said he smokes a joint once or twice a day.
I can get a joint anyway, but the giveaway is just cool, you know, Zerbe told AFP.
The activists had distributed between 150 and 200 joints by 11:30 AM out of 1,500 rolls done in advance by some volunteers.