Philly 'Pop-Up Weed Garden' celebrates pot decriminalization

CENTER CITY (WPVI) -- As many as 300 people gathered Thursday to smoke pot on Eakins Oval, calling it a celebration of the 2nd anniversary of marijuana decriminalization in Philadelphia.

At a 'Pop-Up Weed Garden' hosted by pot activists, locals lit their joints and smoked away.

"I'm feeling very high and fantastic," said Ashley Greenwood of South Philadelphia.

People like Greenwood told Action News they are happy smoking a joint in public no longer leads to an arrest when you're carrying less than 30 grams.

But it can still get you a $100 citation.

"I'm feeling amazing. I'm so ecstatic. This is history in the making," said Richie Scheerer of Port Richmond.

"We no longer want to be jailed for this. Tax us, please. Like, that's what we're asking for. We'd rather pay taxes than to be put in jail," said Greenwood.

But not everybody's happy with the new freedom pot smokers have in Philadelphia, including some people we spoke with who were walking their dogs or pushing toddlers in strollers in the park in Rittenhouse Square, a park which is supposed to be a smoke-free.
"Terrible, terrible," said Barbara Freedman of Rittenhouse Square. "We have big signs: 'No Smoking'. Well, that includes pot doesn't it?"

"I really don't like it. Personally, you know, I think they need to toughen up a bit here," said Christina Lewis of Rittenhouse Square.

Back at Eakins Oval, Philadelphia police officers were nearby keeping an eye on the pot party.

But they kept their distance and did not issue any citations.

And that was just great for Valerie Semola of Haddon Heights, New Jersey. She was at Woodstock 47 years ago and said she had been praying for a day like this.

"I'm 66 years old today," she said. "I mean, maybe you think I'm a little goofy, but I'm not. I know what I'm doing. I've been smoking all these years and so have my friends. So now it's legal. We're happy."

Supporters are hoping the day will come when marijuana is fully legal like alcohol.

With more and more cities voting to decriminalize, they say they believe that day is inevitable.
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