STOP THE PRESSES!
TABLOID SHOCK HORROR IN EAST VILLAGE!
NYC REPORTERS FIND "MUGGLES" SHRUBS IN EAST VILLAGE!
Who Will Save the City?
By Paul DeRienzo
High Times: November
YORK CITY-Jerry the Peddler sits down in his Lower East Side
backyard and expertly splits a Philly and rolls a trademark New York-style
blunt. Just a couple of weeks earlier last July, Mayor Rudy Giulianichief
inquisitor of so-called "quality-of-life" offenses had
been embarrassed by screaming tabloid headlines announcing that marijuana
had been discovered (by tabloid reporters, somehow) growing in nearby
Tompkins Square Park. Jerry says he didnt personally sow the seeds
that produced the 18 pot plants that were found there, but declares with
a mischievous twinkle in his eyes, "I know who did."
A few pot plants growing in
a park where some young people can be regularly seen shooting heroin,
in a city where hundreds of thousands casually smoke herb, may seem a
little inconsequential. But if this is no ordinary park, neither is it
an ordinary mayor. Rudy Giuliani is a former federal Prosecutor who was
the number-three man in the Justice Department when Ronald Reagan revved
up the War on Drugs in 1981. He is also running for reelection, and though
he is widely expected to win, the park plants have opened the possibility
for embarrassment, as chasing pot people out of the citys Parks
is one of the short-fused mayors big cosmetic issues. In May the
annual Cures Not Wars marijuana rally was banned from historic Washington
Square Park, with more than 60 arrests.
Jerry the peddler is no stranger
to controversy. Hes been a key figure in New Yorks annual
pot rallies for more than 20 years. In contrast to the more conventional
demonstrations Organized across town by Yippie party chief Dana Beal,
Jerry and friends have put on annual 11 pig Toasts" in Tompkins Square,
wherein full-size roast porkers-adorned on the sizzling turnspit with
police helmets-are fed to the homeless. At the last event hundreds of
appetiteenhancing joints were distributed as local bands wailed,
to no publicity at all.
Still, the luridly publicized
discovery of the pot plants was the last straw for irascible Parks Commissioner
Henry Stern, who pledges that any plants henceforth found in city parks
will be "deracinated," a fancy term for uprooted. But the controversy
was really fueled by the commissioners initial denial, along with
police brass, that the plants were even marijuana at all. Stern at first
told incredulous reporters the plants were "ragweed." That statement
prompted local papers to enlist a professional horticulturist, who confirmed
that the Plants were indeed cannabis sativa.
In fact, according to Jerry
and his friends, they were indica. Smiling, Jerry says he congratulates
the city for finding the pot patch, but adds, "Theyve got a
dozen more to 90."