Activists To Pass Out Thousands Of Joints To Members Of Congress
"In recognition of 4/20, a date celebrated by many marijuana enthusiasts, pot advocates in D.C. are planning demonstrations around the U.S. Capitol building, including one that could land participants in jail".
Since state law allows D.C. residents to possess, grow and give away marijuana, the group will most likely be able to carry out the pot-smoking event without obstruction, though the question remains whether anyone will take the weed activists up on their offer.
While organizers said upward of 30 congressional staffers had come forward to claim their free weed in the first hour alone, the actual number was significantly less, owing in no small part to the numerous television cameras trained on the table organizers had set up to distribute the joints.
The invitation notes that the event is open for "all members of Congress, congressional staff, interns, Capitol Hill support staff, and credentialed journalists who are over 21 years of age".
Shortly after they began, Capitol Police arrested two of the demonstrators and warned the rest not to block the sidewalk.
Adam Eidinger, head of DCMJ, the activist group formerly known as the D.C. Cannabis Campaign that organized the giveaway, said he was surprised by the arrests. As Schiller noted, members of Congress and their staffs are not subject to the drug testing statutes that keep other federal employees, including contractors who work in Congress, from consuming marijuana.
"We have no intentions of backing down", Schiller said.
DCMJ volunteers plan to hand out at least 1,000 free joints.
"Under federal law, it is unlawful to possess marijuana", U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement. Schiller says he doesn't yet know what everyone has been charged with.
"We believe that the US Capitol Police made politically motivated arrests", Schiller said. That would be the "smoke in" planned for April 24 on the Capitol steps, for which they anticipate being arrested.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has expressed his opposition to legalized marijuana, saying "I'm not sure we're going to be a better, healthier nation if we have marijuana sold at every corner grocery store".
"The irony is today was not civil disobedience, today was lawful behavior", Mr. Eidinger said as police adjusted his handcuffs.