For close to 20 years, the Boston Police Department defended its arresting dozens of peaceful attendees at the Annual Boston Freedom Rally as being done in the name of “public safety.”

The 2011 Boston Freedom Rally drew upwards of 50,000 attendees, and marijuana smoking was open, constant, and could be found among all areas of the event.  The prevalence of use proved so inconsequential that the Boston Police reported no arrests or citations for marijuana offenses.

As members of the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition (MassCann), hosts of the Freedom Rally, have repeatedly stated, the greatest harm that comes from using cannabis on Boston Common is caused by police encounters, not by cannabis itself.

MassCann hopes the 2011 event will serve as a best practices model for the Boston Police, for future public gatherings in the city.  Marijuana users just want to be left alone, and when they are left alone, they will neither cause harm, nor be harmed by unjust marijuana laws.

READ MORE: No Arrests Reported at Boston’s 22nd Annual Freedom Rally
The Daily Chronic, Sept. 18, 2011