Black Girls Smoke Founder Works With NYC Parks to Change Weed Restrictions
There may be hope in the future for weed-smoking park-goers and those who love to smoke. Black Girls Smoke (BGS) Founder Vic Styles is giving it all she’s got to change the restrictions for New York City park visitors who want to puff on some trees as they stroll outdoors. NBC New York reported that although the state legalized the recreational use of marijuana in March 2021, for adults 21 and older, smoking pot is still illegal in certain public areas, including its city parks. Pushing back at the rules, Styles hosts an annual 4/20 “Puff in the Park” event in Prospect Park. Going into its third year, the event poses as a peaceful protest against New York state laws prohibiting smoking within the park. As part of the mission of the Styles’ group, they work to demolish “stigmas, color lines and gender biases” in the white male-dominated industry. “We would like to see a designated cannabis smoking area in the park,” Styles said, adding, “A lot of cannabis events are not geared toward us,” Styles said. “There are people that don’t look like me […] and I don’t feel appreciated, seen or safe in those environments.” Styles launched her brand in 2020 when she moved to New York from Los Angeles. The annual event has enabled her to find community and connect with like-minded people. Styles accumulated over 50,000 BGS Instagram followers and over 3,000 RSVPs for last year’s event.
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“This is the cookout that everybody talks about. What you’re going to find is a positive environment,” Styles said. “We’re just really proud of the community that we’ve been able to build and more importantly, the voices we’ve been able to amplify and the minds we’ve been able to change around this plant.” Reportedly, Styles is working with NYC Parks and the Prospect Park Alliance’s events department. “Puff in the Park 23′” takes place Thursday, April 20, from 2 – 6 PM EDT. Attendees at the event can expect a picnic-style party on April 20, with music, DJs, vendors, and food. Guests are encouraged to bring items such as a blanket, flower, snacks, and water.