There was something in the air besides springtime yesterday as several thousand marijuana enthusiasts and the merely curious gathered for a peaceful smoke-in in Washington Square Park.
Some handfuls of free marijuana cigarettes were passed among the crowd by followers of the Youth International Party which sponsored the rally and a sidewalk march up Fifth Avenue to Central Park.
An eight-foot mock-up of a marijuana cigarette hovered over the crowd like a lumpy white zeppelin.
Dana Beal, a Yippie leader, presented a set of demands. These included not just decriminalization but free, legal marijuana with “a guaranteed weekly one-ounce stash for every head for 40 years, to match the length of time the substance has been illegal here.
In a brief incident an apparent dissenter from the activities threw a punch at Mr. Beal on the speaker’s platform but he was quickly pummeled and kicked to the ground and before long released.
Excerpt from Judith Cummings May 15, 1977 New York Times