Times are rough out here, and the landscape is looking mighty bleak for our cause. And while I’m nowhere near ready to cease fighting, marijuana smoker’s everywhere sure could use a hero and I think we’ve found him.
“The Weed Man” is a notorious point of interest in the Midtown Manhattan area of New York City. Tourists find him and stop to take pictures, taxi cabs honk their approval as they drive by and pedestrian’s happily chuck change in his cup in support of his cause.
This is the land of milk and honey, after all, so why did the NYPD feel it was okay to harrass and arrest Joshua Long?
Mr. Long, 30, a Navy veteran from North Carolina, began displaying his weed sign last year, roving from 14th Street to Central Park, but soon settled upon Times Square as the most fertile ground. He has estimated that he could earn about $200 during a four- or five-hour shift.
I know what you’re thinking, “he’s asking for money for weed…so he must have weed on him, right!?”
Wrong! Joshua says he gave up the habit a while ago but he still supports the cause and his right (remember those?) to panhandled peacefully like thousands of other people in New York City do every day.
But the NYPD arresting a person who is doing law abiding things seemed to be exactly HOW you get locked up in the Big Apple.
Back to our hero……
He was arrested five times between May 2010 and June 2011, his suit said, and charged with a variety of crimes, including disorderly conduct, obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest.
So what does Mr. Long do?
He gets a lawyer and slaps a civil suit on that ass!! Asking for money is protected under our Free Speech laws and pepper spraying a person because you passed a civil service exam is not protected by laws (so they say).
The police didn’t admit any wrong doing, but they did release an official stipulation that warns officers to not disrupt Joshua Long if he is abiding by the general laws afforded to the panhandling community.
Either way, our hats off to you Mr. Long for taking one for the team and kicking the NYPD in the gonads for us Greenies.
This buds for you!!
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