Some activists in town for Inauguration Day are willing to risk arrest by planning to go “green.”
The DC Cannabis Coalition plans to hand out 4,200 free joints the day President-elect Donald Trump will take over the White House, in an effort to keep their hopes of federal marijuana legalization from taking a hit.
The group will begin at 8 a.m. in Dupont Circle, then plans to march down to the National Mall in time for Mr. Trump’s inauguration. At exactly 4 minutes and 20 seconds into Mr. Trump’s inaugural address -- 420 is the commonly known code for marijuana -- thousands of protesters will light up.
Ultimately, organizers say, the stakes have never been higher for national marijuana legalization -- and their Inauguration Day plans will serve as a message to the country.
“The main message is it’s time to legalize cannabis at the federal level,” Adam Eidinger, the founder of DCMJ, a group of D.C. residents who introduced and helped get D.C.’s marijuana legalization initiative passed, told CBS affiliate WUSA.
In the District of Columbia, initiative 71 -- passed in 2014 -- made the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana legal. It’s legal to grow the plant or give it away, but it’s still illegal to sell it.
What isn’t legal is lighting up on federal property -- which the National Mall is. Participants should be aware that they’re risking arrest, Eidinger told WUSA, but he noted that the National Mall has always been a place for peaceful political protest.
“We are going to tell them that if they smoke on federal property, they are risking arrest. But, that’s a form of civil disobedience,” said Eidinger. “I think it’s a good protest. If someone wants to do it, they are risking arrest, but it’s a protest and you know what, the National Mall is a place for protest.”
Eidinger also said the protest isn’t explicitly anti-Trump; all are welcome, and organizers are happy for it to be a joint effort between supporters of different political parties. The joints themselves will be completely free.
“We don’t want any money exchanged whatsoever, this is really a gift for people who come to Washington, D.C.,” he said.