Seven people were arrested on marijuana charges near the U.S. Capitol on Thursday as they participated in a pot giveaway aimed at pressuring Congress to legalize the drug.
"Today the US Capitol Police arrested seven DCMJ volunteers, including Adam Eidinger, who were engaging in lawful behavior", says Schiller.
The event will be on a city street, where it is legal to possess the joints.
But there is a string attached to those free joints. More than 70 percent of Americans said they do not think the federal government should block marijuana sales in states that have legalized the drug.
Right now, cannabis is still federally prohibited for medicinal as well as recreational use throughout the country. The group will demand Congress act to reauthorize the amendment, which is set to expire April 28.
Many states, however, have legalized some form of marijuana use.
Representatives for NCIA, a trade industry group for the burgeoning legal marijuana companies, NORML, a long-running legalization group, and DCMJ all said in separate conversations that among the most immediate concern they had was the successful continuation or even expansion of that rule in the new funding bill Congress must pass this month to avoid government shutdown. "We'll celebrate adults making informed choices". Activists said it was the closest they could get to the Capitol while staying off federal land. "This is a federal intrusion on the District of Columbia". Yet uncertainty over the Trump administration's intents toward pot enforcement has created at least partial paralysis in those states on public consumption, licensing and other issues.
The joint giveaway will become historic if there are any takers in Congress. The group will meet at the east side of the Capitol Building at noon and then at 4:20 p.m., they'll light up their joints, bongs and bowls. While someone may be inclined to take advantage of Washington's consumption laws in one of its attractive parks, numerous District's outdoor spaces are actually managed by the Interior Department. But Schiller is confident that there will still be some takers for the free joints.
"We don't condone illegal activity", Smith told CNN. "We'll see how many do so on Thursday".
Thursday's official marijuana holiday, dubbed 420 by enthusiasts, is reaching new highs (get it?) this year.
"Monday's event is up in the air", Schiller said. "While national organizations like NORML are calling for people to contact their members of Congress on 4/20, we can't and it's why we must protest".
California Reps Dana Rohrabacher (R) and Sam Farr (D) have already sponsored the spending measure in previous budgets. The activists said they want marijuana rescheduled in the eyes of the federal government so that federal penalties are less harsh.
DCMJ had planned for weeks to have two days of protests. "And it's the first time in a year and a half that I had a decent night's sleep because the arthritis pain was gone".
Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending the nation's almost century-long experiment with marijuana prohibition.
The group is attempting to make a splash the way it did when it helped push successfully for DC's pot liberalization and later launched a pot giveaway during President Donald Trump's inauguration weekend. "I have the right to give away marijuana", Eidinger added.