Wednesday, 26 July, 2017

Pro-pot activists plan to hand out joints outside Capitol

'Faces of Marijuana Prohibition' Event Held on Capitol Hill Pro-pot activists plan to hand out joints outside Capitol
Melinda Barton | 21 April, 2017, 18:17

Two more states last fall voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana, or cannabis.

Put another way, what transpired Thursday was arguably the year's foremost gathering of Washington navel-gazers and people who literally gaze at their navels because they're stoned out of their minds.

To commemorate the occasion, advocates for legalized pot handed out free joints to congressional staffers and reporters on Capitol Hill.

The smoking stunt is meant to highlight the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which prohibits federal authorities from interfering with D.C. cannabis laws. That's the same boat Gerald Finn, of Bethlehem, is in, and he's been using for marijuana for 47 years, he said.

A person can give another person no more than one ounce of marijuana as long as there is no payment made or any other type of exchange of goods or services are exchanged.

At 2 p.m., all the marijuana had been taken away by the Capitol Police and those remaining were asking for volunteers willing to be arrested to bring marijuana over and hand it out. The answer is complicated.

The battle over federal and local marijuana laws played out Thursday on the streets of Washington, D.C. "If these members of Congress ask themselves who has the most to lose from ending the war on cannabis, it isn't the American people". Last November, residents of MA and ME were the first east of the Mississippi River to vote to follow the lead of Colorado, Washington State, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia in legalizing recreational use. While someone may be inclined to take advantage of Washington's consumption laws in one of its lovely parks, numerous District's outdoor spaces are actually managed by the Interior Department. The joint handout began again shortly thereafter.

"Under federal law, it is unlawful to possess marijuana", police communications director Eva Malecki said in a statement.

US Capitol Police (USCP) said three adults were arrested near the Capitol and charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, while four were charged with possession. "It's use and possession is against federal law", said John Kelly, secretary of homeland security.

"We will probably get arrested".

Schiller says the activists did not anticipate the hassle. "It's not a big deal".

Police arrest marijuana activist Adam Eidinger at First Street NE and Constitution Avenue on Thursday.

The amendment is set to expire on April 28, and DCMJ hopes that its joint-giveaway will compel members of Congress to consider renewing the amendment. With Congress on recess, there were no lawmakers around to take advantage of the giveaway ― though few legislators likely would have shown up even if they were in town. Right now, only one sitting congressperson has admitted to using marijuana.

Despite the trend, it remains a Schedule 1 drug by federal standards. "We are told some Congressional staffers, Hill support staff, and members of the media will take up the offer", he told Civilized. "After cleaning so many toilet bowls at work, someone might want their own bowl, yet they could lose their job".