Grow, Gift, Repair

Complaint around the Freedom Rally

But representatives of Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition, or MassCann, which organizes the yearly festival, say they operate within their permits and the park is left clean.

MassCann was never contacted by any of the groups now raising issues, said press secretary Maggie Kinsella.

“Our reaction was like kind of, ‘OK,’” Kinsella said of the post. “I guess it’s not new for people to draw up a scene against something little, because at the end of the day, their bias is against cannabis and nothing else.”
The festival, currently slated for Sept. 14, 15, and 16, has gathered yearly since 1989 as a forum to educate the public on marijuana and the legal battle against it, according to its website. The event also showcases musical artists, speakers, and vendors.

“By Monday the park is back to its pristine state,” Bill Downing, a member liaison for MassCann and rally organizer, said in an interview. “The park is not left dirty. That’s ridiculous.”

In their post, critics say the event damages Boston’s reputation and leaves park-bound families feeling unsafe and uncomfortable.
“This event is tantamount to an occupation of the Common, which feels under siege by the huge number of tents, vendors, people smoking marijuana, and loud and profane music and speeches from the stage,” the post says.