A planned civil disobedience to protest Congress’ stranglehold on Washington D.C.’s cannabis industry went off as planned yesterday, and resulted in four possession of marijuana on federally owned property arrests.
Thanks to a voter-backed initiative in 2014, cannabis is legal in Washington D.C., but because of some screwy rules in the District of Columbia, Congress has barred the nation’s capital from setting up a regulated retail market.
To protest the Congressional interference, activists organized by D.C. Marijuana Justice (DCMJ) met yesterday at noon, with the dome of the Capitol behind them, and after a few speeches and chants, sparked up joints at 4:20 pm and faced the subsequent consequences.
According to Leafly, the four protestors that inhaled were arrested by U.S. Capitol Police and charged with the federal crime of possessing cannabis. The two women and two men brought into custody could be sentenced to up to one year in federal prison.
The action was the second widely publicized D.C. cannabis protest in the past 5 days. A Capitol Hill free joint giveaway led to seven DCMJ activists being detained by federal cops, and two activists, including DCMJ founder and Washington legalization poster boy Adam Eidinger, being charged by local cops for possessing more weed than the two ounces allowed by District law. According to Leafly, authorities say Eidinger had 2.06 ounces on his person.
And while the arrests on Monday were expected by participants and organizers, it looks like local cops reached pretty deep to prosecute Eidinger for the giveaway that was 0.06 ounces away from legal.
Only time will tell the severity of punishment handed down for the DCMJ activists, but the openly defiant protests have brought more attention to Washington D.C.’s unique legalization woes and the continued fight to end federal prohibition.
If you also think it’s ridiculous that people are still being put behind bars for possessing a lifesaving plant, be sure to check out the #FreeWeed movement and join the fight for legalization.