On February 22, 2016 the Philadelphia Flower Show said that local cannabis reform groups are not welcome to participate in a booth at their event. The show is beginning on March 5, 2016.
"The Cannabis flower is beautiful and beneficial, with a strong tradition in America," said PhillyNORML spokesperson Chris Goldstein, "Attendees to the Philadelphia Flower Show would likely have found great interest in learning more about this plant."
PhillyNORML was invited in January to supply volunteers to a booth secured by Green Rush Advisors. A PhillyNORML blog post calling for volunteers was, in part, published in a articles at Philly.com, NJ.com and other sources.
At no time did PhillyNORML ever misrepresent our well-known mission of marijuana education and advocacy. The blog post was created before Flower Show representatives informed the booth renter that all mention of politics around legalization would be disallowed but that general marijuana information was approved. PhillyNORML volunteers were certainly willing to comply with that provision.
Four states and Washington DC have fully legalized cannabis for adults. Dozens of states, including Delaware, New York and New Jersey, operate medical marijuana programs. Lawmakers in Pa have been working on a compassionate use bill as well.
Several polls have indicated that 88 percent to 90 percent of Pa voters want to see medical marijuana legalized.
An industrial hemp farming bill has passed House and Senate committees in the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
Philadelphia also decriminalized marijuana in 2014 leading to an almost 80 percent drop in possession arrests. Pittsburgh recently followed suit.
A Harris Poll conducted last year, commissioned by Green State Gardeners, found that 12 percent of gardeners - an estimated 24 million Americans - would cultivate cannabis if legal.
"Almost a billion dollars worth of this flower was sold in Colorado last year noted Goldstein,"Thousands of jobs have been created there and more than $135 million in taxes collected. Marijuana might be the most lucrative realm of horticulture in the United States."
"One day in the future I hope that the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society will welcome Cannabis to the show."
A joint statement from Green Rush Advisors and The Philadelphia Flower Show is expected later today: http://www.greenrushadvisors.com/blog/cannabis-booth-at-flower-show-wont-happen-this-year
Source: Philly NORML