The Freedom Festival sponsored by the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition (MassCann) and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is scheduled for next weekend (September 14-15), however it may not come off as planned.
Just 8 days prior to the event, on Friday, September 6, 2013, the city of Boston denied the permit for the event, citing lack of police resources.
According to the MassCann/NORML website, in a phone call with Bill Downing, (treasurer of MassCann) Alex O’Connell, Esq. of the Boston Law Department informed Downing that the City had decided there were not enough police resources to police MassCann/NORML’s event along with other events happening that weekend.
Ms. O’Connell offered no explanation why the City had figured out this was a concern only eight days before the event, given months of constant contact between city officials and MassCann/NORML about various aspects of the upcoming event.
This is not the first time the City has attempted to derail a Freedom Rally. In 1997 and 1998 the City imposed unworkable and unconstitutional restrictions which were overturned by court injunction.
In 2008, the City attempted to siphon off any proceeds from the rally and redirect them to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, a scheme that was also overturned by court injunction.
MassCann/NORML is considering filing for another injunction and individuals are encouraged to contact the Boston City Council (at this link) in hopes of changing the mind of the city officials to allow the Freedom Rally to take place.