President-Elect Donald J. Trump’s inauguration is coming up fast. On January 20th, depending on your point of view, the country will either enter into an era of doom and autocracy or be saved from the swamp monsters who’ve been sucking the life out of it. One thing is for certain: the legacy of the United States isn’t the only thing that will burn to cinders on inauguration day. There’s also a matter of 4,200 joints which will supposedly be distributed for free by a marijuana legalization activist group.
As reported by the Associated Press, advocacy group DCMJ intends to distribute thousands of joints at 8 AM on the west side of downtown neighborhood Dupont Circle. The idea is then that 4,200 potheads will walk these joints down to the National Mall where, 4 minutes and 20 seconds into Trump’s inaugural speech, they will all light up in unison.
As long as the participants smoke on District property, they’re somewhat within their rights, as recreational cannabis is legal in DC. But if they light up on federal land (which much of the mall falls under) they’ll be violating federal laws and could be in for a bit of a headache if federal authorities chose to bust them.
DCMJ founder Adam Eidinger told AP that the point of the stunt is to argue the case for cannabis legalization. Trump’s nominee for Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made no secret of being anti-cannabis. He’s said that “good people don’t smoke marijuana” and also reportedly commented in the 80’s that he thought the Ku Klux Klan “was okay until I found out they smoked pot.” So, cool guy.
DCMJ is becoming known for stunts like the one intended for January 20. The group staged a smoke sesh outside the White House last April, but only a little more than a hundred people showed up. The DCMJ received as much (or more) negative attention from the cannabis community as it did from authorities. The Drug Policy Alliance criticised the event and the head of the Marijuana Majority Tom Angell told the Washington Post, “Smoking marijuana outside the president’s house, around tourists and kids, is probably not a good way to get the president to do what you want.”