There’s been a whole lot of weed going on at the Capitol Building in D.C. this last week, and it’s not because politicians have been trying to medicate their depression over President Trump serving his first 100 days in office.
Two separate, but related cannabis prohibition protests led to at least eleven arrests for federal violations of marijuana possession and distribution. The fun started, of course, on 4/20 when the very vocal cannabis activist group DCMJ staged its First Annual Congressional Joint Session. The group intended to distribute 1,227 joints to Congress people and congressional staffers to publicize House Resolution 1227, a bill which would end federal cannabis prohibition.
Unfortunately, but maybe not too surprisingly, the proceedings were interrupted very suddenly by District Police, as reported by Leafly. Seven protesters were arrested, one in the middle of a speech, though all were released without charges except for two of the event organizers. Adam Eidinger, the face of DCMJ, and William Angolia were both charged for possessing more than the two ounces of cannabis allowed by District of Columbia law.
The actual charges that will be filed are still up in the air, but authorities are reportedly considering federal distribution charges (as the Capitol is federal property), which would fetch a maximum of 1 year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
In retaliation for this disruption, demonstrators returned to the Capitol for another demonstration Monday. The plan was to have a “smoke-in” to protest the arrests on 4/20 and again champion the legalization of cannabis on a federal level.
The act of civil disobedience was quickly noticed by local authorities. Soon after the protesters lit up, Capitol police stepped in and arrested four more DCMJ members.
DCMJ’s efforts do not look to be over anytime soon. Nikolas Schiller, a co-founder of the group, told reporters on Thursday, “We will be suing the hell out of US Capitol Police.“
Photo via Wikimedia Commons