ACT UP Lights Up Joints for Jabs Again
Community aims to boost vaccine awareness; more events forthcoming
Kellen Gold and Jason Rosenberg help vaccinated folks pick up their free joint.
Brandon Cuicchi assists folks in line waiting to get their joint.
Dedicated marchers showed up for the Cannabis Parade.
Brandon Cuicchi and Kellen Gold at the “Joints for Jab” tent.
Put an emphasis on the green stripe!
BY MATT TRACY
Now that’s an incentive
to get vaccinated!
After marching in an
annual Cannabis Parade
in Manhattan on May 1, ACT
UP New York set up shop at Union
Square and handed out hundreds
of free marijuana joints to those
with proof of COVID vaccination.
It was similar to a widely-attended
4/20 event of the same kind — and
activists felt that hosting another
event would again raise awareness
about the vaccine. It looks like it
won’t be the last one, either.
“Joints For Jabs 1 was so successful
that we want to continue
the program through the summer
to encourage vaccination among
medicinal and recreational marijuana
users and young people,”
ACT UP’s Brandon Cuicchi, one
of the event’s organizers, said in
a written statement ahead of the
event. “Now that vaccine demand
is slowing, it’s clear that vaccines
will need to go where people already
congregate such as parks
and public spaces in order to reach
“We distributed around 300
joints to people over 21 showing
proof of COVID vaccination,” ACT
UP wrote in a Facebook post after
the May 1 event. “Stay tuned for
the announcement of #joints4jabs
3, where we’re hoping to offer walkup
vaccines on demand.
Organizers said they are in discussions
with the city’s Department
of Health to vaccinate folks on site
at future “Joints for Jabs” event.
“We know that young people are
hesitant to get the COVID vaccine,
especially if their families are, so
rather than relying on the fear of
getting COVID, we want to encourage
them to get vaccinated in a
positive way,” Kellen Gold of ACT
UP said in a written statement.
Activists are also advocating for
city-based legislation permitting
cannabis to be grown in vacant
lots, which would allow folks to
cultivate plans and provide free or
cheap marijuana to folks who need
it medicinally as well as others.
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