Boston Police Department ignores Hempfest request

Boston Police Department ignores Hempfest request

Documents on event policies almost one year overdue

Written by
Edited by JPat Brown

Following last weekend’s 25th annual Hempfest/Freedom Rally in Boston, and the city’s recent ban on smoking of any kind on the Common - where the rally traditionally takes place - I was curious about how the Boston Police were instructed to patrol the event. But in the process for filing for this information, I came across one of MuckRock’s oldest overdue requests.  

In September 2013, MuckRock user JasperCraven requested all communications within the Boston Police department on the Hempfest event and marijuana usage in general, as well as guidelines issued on patrolling last year’s rally. BPD confirmed receipt but has since ignored the request, along with a year’s worth of follow ups.


Legal “grey area” events like the Rally, and any possession or smoking ban violations citation records they do or do not generate, raise fundamental questions about the fundamental efficacy of such legislation. So, while I file a new request to the BPD on Freedom Rally policies and related documents, you can help by emailing us at with any tips, information, or FOIA leads relevant to Hempfest and the Boston Police.   

Image by Epicuritarian via Wikimedia Commons