On The Common, They Like The Grass

September 24, 2008

Boston, MA — The distinct odor of burning incense – among other things – hung in the air over Boston Common yesterday afternoon during the 2008 Boston Hemp Fest.

A large crowd gathered, its members enjoying the warm, sunny weather and the diverse offerings of food vendors as they debated political ideas or simply relaxed on the grass.

“I tell you, it’s eclectic. From getting things like nice tie-dye shirts to getting, like, say, falafels and things like that,” said Lee Litif 44, of South Boston, who was decked out in tie-dyed clothes himself, along with sunflower-rimmed sunglasses. “It’s utopia; it really is.”

Litif was happy to express his support for an upcoming ballot question that would decriminalize marijuana possession in the state.

“No doubt. I’m for legalization of marijuana. Legalize gay marrage and legalize abortion, regardless,” he said.

Supporters of both Question 2, the marijuana measure, and Question 1, which would eliminate the state income tax, were out in full force with literature, stickers, and even free fresh fruit to try to lure people to their side.

Arthur Torrey, a libertarian from Billerica, was handing out literature to passersby from a booth. Across the way, a group of socialists were handing out their materials.

“We agree on a lot of social issues,” he said.

A number of people were smoking marijuana and some could be seen inhaling substances from balloons. Police reported making six arrests, but officials last evening did not have specifics on the charges.

Police were not visible walking through the crowds, but flashing blue lights on the perimeter of the Common reminded everyone that they were in the vicinity.

Before providing information on the arrests, Officer James Kenneally, a police spokesman, said the Hemp Fest was “rather orderly.”

Globe correspondents Padraig Shea and Caitlin Castello contributed to this report.

Source: Boston Globe

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