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New Yorkers might think it’s legal to smoke weed in public — it’s not. People might think it will be legal to smoke weed in public very soon — it won’t be. People might think pot crimes aren’t being prosecuted, so smoking weed is de facto legal. It’s not.
But with the specter of legalization hanging over New York, some 4/20 festivities are becoming more public, even though recreational use is still illegal.
A lot of events this weekend are celebrating April 20, the unofficial marijuana holiday: There’s a yoga class in the Bronx. “Non-smokers are welcomed!” according to the event’s invitation.
There’s a “Grn Day” party at a secret location. (When I called a contact number for the party, a man seemed reluctant to discuss the issue with a reporter. “It’s just an event, that’s all,” he said. “Just an event, sir.”)
For those curious about cannabis but wary about running afoul of the law, vintage marijuana rolling papers, stickers and even “munchie" jars will be for sale at a flower shop in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
The items are being sold by Mary Juanita Purveyors, an antiques distributor in New Jersey. Among the inventory: The Oct. 31, 1969, cover of Life magazine: “MARIJUANA: At least 12 million Americans have now tried it; Are penalties too severe? Should it be legalized?”
History seems to have a way of repeating itself, especially when it comes to marijuana in 1960s and ’70s America. The bulk of Mary Juanita’s inventory comes from that era, but it resonates today.
Mary Juanita’s founder, Andrew Miller, 38, brushed aside the idea that the possible legalization of marijuana in New York and elsewhere might diminish interest in his goods. The items help “tell history,” Mr. Miller said, and “that is always interesting to people.”
The founder of Stems Brooklyn, the flower shop where the memorabilia sale will take place, was enthusiastic about hosting the event. “People who appreciate cannabis appreciate nature,” the founder, Suzanna Cameron, said.
It’s Friday — as The Times’s Styles Editor Choire Sicha would say: Thanks for making it through the week!