Pop Up & Smoke Up: Philly 'Pop-Up Weed Garden' Celebrates Weed Decriminalization | NBC 10 Philadelphia

Pop Up & Smoke Up: Philly 'Pop-Up Weed Garden' Celebrates Weed Decriminalization

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dozens of activists threw a party in Eakins Oval Thursday afternoon to celebrate the decriminalization of marijuana. NBC10's Drew Smith reports. (Published Friday, Oct. 21, 2016)

    You may or may not have heard of Hempy — a marijuana mascot who roamed the streets of Philly. Well, the person inside the green costume didn’t sweat bullets and waste energy for the heck of it.

    N.A. Poe, a pro-pot activist and the man behind Hempy, created a 90-second montage of his adventure as a promotional piece for Thursday afternoon's "pop-up weed garden."

    "I wanted to find a creative way to promote the event, and I’m glad using digital art did the trick." Poe said.

    The pop-up began (appropriately) at 4:20 p.m. Thursday below the Philadelphia Art Museum’s famous "Rocky" steps.

    Attendees were encouraged to "BYOW" — Bring Your Own Weed — as long as they brought less than the decriminalized amount (30 grams). The event provided provide light refreshments and snacks donated by local food stores.

    NBC10 reached out to the Art Museum for a reaction, but did not receive a statement on the event.

    "They are not in on it," Poe assured.

    Police officers were present during the event, but did not interfere as scores of smokers took photos with Hempy, munched on snacks, and puffed away.

    The event served as a two-year anniversary celebration of Philly’s weed decriminalization law, which went into effect on Oct. 20, 2014. The policy turned marijuana use and possession into a civil offense; people who carry 30 grams or less of marijuana are fined $25 and public consumption of the drug gets a $100 fine.

    Anyone who joined Poe in the "cannabis happy hour" risked getting the citation for public use of the drug. Poe, however, was not fazed by it. "I [didn’t] know what the f--- [was] going to happen, but I know whoever [showed] up [was] in for a chill time," he said.

    Poe is pleased with the progressive direction the marijuana debate is heading towards in Philadelphia.

    "I was arrested three years ago at a protest in Philly and now we're having a [pot] garden party outside the art museum. So, it's a great progress," he said.

    Chris Goldstein, an official with the Philadelphia chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said the concept of having a pop-up BYOW garden is a play on Philadelphia’s craze with beer gardens. Top News: South Korea Impeachment Vote, Tibet and More Top News: South Korea Impeachment Vote, Tibet and More