There was not a cloud in the sky over the Boston Common yesterday during the 20th annual Boston Freedom Rally, but there was plenty of smoke.

It was the first time the pro-marijuana rally organized by the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition had been held since the November election, when voters passed Proposition 2. The ballot initiative made possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a civil offense rather than a crime.

The changed law gave the large crowds in attendance yesterday a new reason to celebrate and one less reason to get arrested – an outcome that organizers said is a welcome change. The event has caused controversy over the years because of many arrests and battles with the city over permit issues. This year, as in the past, many people smoked marijuana openly as an act of civil disobedience.

READ MORE: Marijuana advocates celebrate gains, Boston Sunday Globe, Sept. 20, 2009