Supporters of legalizing marijuana will rally in downtown York Saturday, according to a news release.
The release states that speakers will include: Les Stark, the sponsor of the event, an author and founder of Pennsylvania Hempland Security; Manuel Gomez, a spokesman for the York County Libertarian Party and York City Council candidate; and William Cooke, a former Baltimore prosecutor, now a defense attorney representing the national group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
The York Hemp Freedom Rally will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. on Continental Square in York, according to the release.
The release states that there will be speakers in support of Senate Bill 528, introduced by state Sen. Daylin Leach, a Democrat who represents parts of Delaware and Montgomery counties.
Leach’s legislation was referred to the Senate Law and Justice Committee in April.
“People across our Commonwealth have spent time in prison, lost time at work, been forced to hire lawyers and had their lives disrupted and sometimes destroyed because they used a product less dangerous than beer, less risky than children’s cough-syrup and less addictive than chocolate,” Leach wrote in a co-sponsorship memo for the legislation. “They used a product which has never killed anybody, and whose societal harm comes from its prohibition rather than its properties.”
Leach said his legislation would legalize marijuana for adults 21 and over in Pennsylvania. He said marijuana would be regulated, similar to how alcohol is treated. Operating a motor vehicle while impaired by marijuana would still be illegal, along with some other activities, he said in the co-sponsorship memo.
Here is the full release about Saturday’s rally:
Members of the cannabis legalization and reform movement will gather on Continental Square in downtown York on Saturday, July 27th from 3-5pm for the York Hemp Freedom Rally.
The York Hemp Freedom Rally will feature author and event sponsor Les Stark along with other notable speakers bringing knowledge, awareness and support for Senate Bill 528, also known as the Regulate Marijuana Act, introduced by state Senator Daylin Leach of Montgomery County.
Speakers who will be joining Les Stark include:
1. William Cooke, a former Baltimore City prosecutor, now a defense attorney representing the national group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
2. York County Libertarian Party spokesman and city council candidate, Manuel Gomez
3. Connie Guy, former mayor of Mountville, Pa – Lancaster NORML
4. Derek Rosenzweig – Philadelphia NORML
5. Philadelphia comedian/activist duo N.A Poe and The Panic Hour
+ more speakers, surprise guests and entertainment.
“We currently are arresting around 25,000 people a year in Pennsylvania for cannabis at a cost of over 325 million dollars. That means that over the next 10 years we will ruin or severely disrupt the lives of over 250,000 Pennsylvanians at a cost of nearly 3 1/2 billion dollars. Meanwhile, the people of Colorado and Washington will be living free – raising much needed tax revenue and funding their schools while back here we are shutting down our schools and building prisons,” said Les Stark, author of Hempstone Heritage, a book about the history of the hemp industry of Pennsylvania.
Stark, lead organizer for the York Hemp Freedom Rally and founder of the awareness group Pennsylvania Hempland Security, says the rally will also talk about the history of industrial hemp as an agricultural crop. Stark’s research indicates that hemp was grown as far as the eye could see and beyond in all parts of York County, in great abundance. At least three dozen hemp mills were once in operation in York, processing the fiber from locally grown hemp and providing many people with gainful employment in the rope factories of York.
“It’s a shame that while 21 states including Washington D.C. allow medical cannabis, we have no relief here in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania needs to pass a compassionate medical cannabis law as quickly as possible,” said Stark. “In short, we believe that cannabis should be legal for all purposes – medical, industrial, spiritual and social/recreational uses.”