PhillyNORML, comedy activism crew The Panic Hour and more than 150 participants gathered at Independent Mall National Historic Park on September 21st to seek redress for federal cannabis laws.

Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate John Hanger gave a rousing speech to the crowd on Sept. 9, “I’m here for a new birth of freedom and because these laws are unjust,” Hanger said in front of the Liberty Bell.  “We’re spending 350 million dollars a year to enforce [marijuana] laws while we’re closing libraries and schools in the city of Philadelphia.”

Other speakers included NJ medical marijuana activist Jim Miller, activist James Baab, Cannabis Radio Network David Kowalski, LancasterNORML’s Ellie Paisley, PhillyNORML co-chairs Mike Whiter and Chris Goldstein and comedian Alex Pearlman.

Rowyn Capers, a registered New Jersey medical marijuana patient, gave a passionate speech leading up to the regular 4:20PM moment of cannabis reflection. “I started getting safe legal access to marijuana at $560 dollars per ounce after spending more than $1000 dollars in doctor’s registration fees only to be medicated from December until March until they [Greenleaf ATC] ran out of Indica. If I have one message today for any of you: Cannabis Heals!” Capers then took several large plastic bags of her empty pharmaceutical bottles and smashed them under her foot.

As with Boston's Freedom Rally, at 4:20pm smoked up in a non-violent civil disobedience action. Eight citations were issued for “possession of a controlled substance,” and one person was cited with an additional “interference” charge when it took her a few moments to locate a legal ID in her purse.

The next Smoke Down Prohibition rally will be announced soon along with details for the PhilllyNORML Halloween Party/Fundraiser.