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Marijuana Supporters Celebrate 4/20; Free Joints Handed Out In Union Square To People Who Have Received COVID Vaccine Shots

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Tuesday is April 20, or 4/20.

It's a day marijuana users celebrate cannabis.

This year, it has taken on new meaning in our area as New York and New Jersey both legalized it, CBS2's Alice Gainer reported.

READ MORELong Island Businesses Say They Are Overwhelmed By The New Realities Of Recreational Marijuana

Got your COVID-19 shot? Have some pot!

"If someone shows up with a proof of vaccine, they can get a free joint of cannabis," said Nikolas Schiller of the group DC Marijuana Justice.


The line for "Joints for Jabs" in Union Square snaked all the way around the park.

"Didn't expect this, but this is New York," one person said.

"If this is one of the benefits of doing our part, then I say hell yeah," another person said.

Marijuana advocates say they wanted to get the word out about getting vaccinated and rolled enough joints for the expected "high" turnout, around 2,800.

READ MOREChild Psychiatrist Says Parents Should Lead Conversation About Marijuana With Kids After Legalization In New York

Last month, it became legal in New York for those 21 and older to possess up to three ounces of cannabis outside the home and you can smoke it anywhere it's legal to use tobacco.

"It definitely feels strange. It's like, kind of like a new environment out here. Everyone is smoking in the open," said Kobe Simpson of New Rochelle.

More than a dozen states have now legalized recreational marijuana use.

"I don't know of anything in particular we're doing to commemorate 4/20 in New Jersey," Gov. Phil Murphy said.

READ MORENew Jersey Marijuana: Lawmakers Eye Bill Allowing Adults To Grow Pot At Home

Garden State residents recently voted to legalize weed. You can have up to six ounces outside.

On Monday, the state's Cannabis Regulatory Commission met.

"Equity is front and center to make sure that not just in our criminal justice reform, but in the manner by which we set this industry up who gets to participate, who gets the licenses, who benefits from this. That equity is our driving principle," Murphy said.

READ MOREOpponents Of Marijuana's Legality In New York Fear Rise In Crime, Driving Under Influence, Decreased Quality Of Life

If you're wondering how 4/20 got its name, there have been all kinds of stories over the years. But it's believed to be traced to five northern California men who created the code while high school students in San Francisco in 1971.

They went looking for a marijuana garden and decided to meet at 4:20 p.m. after two of them finished football practice.

They kept the code going and it spread.

The Oxford English Dictionary even added 420 with a credit to them, defined as North American slang for the action of smoking marijuana.

Legal sales of recreational marijuana in New York won't start for months, until regulations are set.

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