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Dana Beal - wikidoc

Dana Beal

Jump to: navigation, search File:Beal-pot parade-1994.jpg Dana marches at the head of the New York City Marijuana March in 1994.

Dana Beal (born January 9, 1947 in Ravenna, Ohio is a social and political activist, best known for his efforts to legalize marijuana. He is a long-term activist in the Youth International Party (Yippies) and founder of the Yipster Times.


Template:Neutrality Beal's father was an archivist for the State of Michigan and a veteran of World War II. His ancestors can be traced back to the Hessians and to a signer of the Declaration of Independence. As a high school student, Beal began to immerse himself in philosophy and mathematics. He associated with students from Michigan State University (Okemos was close to East Lansing and MSU).

One evening a niece of the actor Eli Wallach brought him to "The Smoke Shop" - an early commune run by A.J. Weberman. Weberman saw Dana with a copy of Bertrand Russell's Principia Mathematica under his arm, as Beal was wandering about looking at the girls. AJ asked him if he wanted to smoke something that would give him real insight into "Uncle Bertie". (Weberman had reprinted Lord Russell's essay, "Why I Am Not A Christian," under his own name in the State News.) Weberman soon introduced Beal to marijuana and LSD.

Weberman was arrested for possession of marijuana in February 1964 and sent back home to Brooklyn. Beal eventually came to New York City where he got a job, enrolled at New York University, became an A student. He rented an apartment in the East Village. The only problem he had was having once gotten up at a 1963 political meeting to say that if a tyrant ever takes over the government of the United States he should be shot. Someone in the crowd reported him to the U.S. Secret Service and every time a President of the United States came to New York City for many years thereafter, the Service would interview Beal or check on his whereabouts.

In 1967 Weberman turned Dana on to his first hit of LSD-25. Beal dropped out of college and formed the New York Provos. The provos had been active in Amsterdam and had held the first smoke-in on the steps of the City Hall there! The underground newspaper, the East Village Other, gave the Provos its old office on Avenue A and Dana put a large sign in the window reading PSYCHEDELIC REVOLUTION. Dana started Street Sheet and organized marches through the East Village whenever there was a pot bust.

In the Summer of 1967 Dana allegedly sold LSD to an undercover police agent and was locked up. The Community Bail Fund got him out, and hundreds of hippies carried him from the jail at 100 Center Street back to the Provo office. In a few months Dana opened a Free Store on 2nd Street between Bowery and 2nd Avenue. By this time the police had decided arrested him on another drug charge. When they came to arrest him Dana made a run for it. As a detective was in hot pursuit he slipped through a small hole in a hurricane fence. So Dana jumped bail in January 1968 and went underground - joining groups aligned with the Weather People. His associates at the time included Pat Small and Jerry Weatherman. Dana moved to Canada and Milwaukee where he wrote perhaps his most prophetic piece, RIGHT ON CULTURE FREAKS, in which he stated that someday the Culture Wars would transcend politics in its importance to change. Apprehended in Madison, Wisconsin, Beal served one year in prison. William Kunstler represented him in this matter.

Freed in the summer of 1972 Beal made his way to Miami where he helped Tom Forcade lead the protests against the Republican and Democratic Conventions with Wisconsin radical Pat Small and Aron Kay and others. Beal returned to New York and moved into a basement apartment on East 3rd Street then to 9 Bleecker Street, which now houses the Yippie Museum. From Number Nine Dana organized demonstrations against the Unification Church, against Roy M. Cohn and John Mitchell and numerous anti-war rallies.

At about this time, Beal helped with the "Rock Against Racism" concerts[citation needed] and has continued over the years to organize the Million Marijuana March (MMM) on the first Saturday of May every year in New York City.[1][2] The worldwide MMM event began in 1999 with Beal as the major organizer, and now takes place in hundreds of cities around the world in addition to NYC. NYC has had marijuana rallies since 1967. Despite a problem with over-consumption of alcohol Dana was able to organize a World Wide Marijuana March with pro-pot demonstrations in countries too numerous to mention.

[3][4] Dana has been working for the legalization of marijuana and other issues since at least the mid 1960s, and is particularly known for his association with the Yippies. He soon made an enemy in Lyndon LaRouche, after leading a protest in front of the erstwhile Presidential candidate's office in midtown Manhattan. In 1981, LaRouche published a "Dope Dossier" on Beal in "Investigative Leads," the LaRouchian newsletter for law enforcement personnel, in an unsuccessful effort to trigger a police investigation.

Beal serves today on the board of the "Yippie! Museum Press," dedicated to preserving the activities and artifacts of the Youth International Party.


Beal has been instrumental in promoting ibogaine as an addiction interrupter. Beal feels addiction is a disease and is determined to ameliorate its effects. Numerous scientific papers have been published attesting to ibogaine's addiction interrupting properties in human and test animals.

Social engagement

Beal's "Cures Not Wars" site includes information on the Million Marijuana March and the use of Ibogaine in addiction treatment. He also works on behalf of people with AIDS. Paul DeRienzo was a close associate of Beal's, as was Thomas King Forcade, the founder of High Times magazine. The book Blacklisted News, is available from the Yippie Museum Press, 9 Bleecker St., NYC 10012, where Beal lives, and which also houses the Yippie Museum chartered by the Board of Regents of New York State. The Yippie Museum Cafe and display area now occupies the first floor of Nine Bleecker Street, a landmark building designed by the partner of Olmstead, the man who designed Central Park. [5]


  1. "Museum will have Abbie’s trash, Rubin’s road kill". By Lincoln Anderson. The Villager. Feb. 1-7, 2006. Article on Dana Beal.
  2. "Smoke and Jeers. Million Marijuana March Protests NYC's Record-High Pot Arrests". By Jennifer Gonnerman. Village Voice. May 5-11, 1999.
  3. "Yippie Central". By Colin Moynihan, New York Times. April 29, 2001. Article on Dana Beal.
  4. May 2nd 1998 New York City marijuana rally.
  5. []


  • The Ibogaine Story: Report on the STATEN ISLAND PROJECT, 352 pages, ISBN 1-57027-029-5

External links

de:Dana Beal

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