In response to Senator Jeff Sessions’ nomination for attorney general by President-elect Trump, a group of marijuana advocates are lighting up in protest at the upcoming inauguration.
Sessions has been a long-time prohibitionist and marijuana detractor, and should he receive the nomination, many pot supporters are worried.
Representative Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado, said that if Sessions decides to pursue enforcing federal drug laws in states with legal weed, “in one fell swoop, the federal government could damage state economies, and discourage entrepreneurship—placing some of our innovators behind bars, all while eroding states’ rights.”
That’s why DCMJ, a marijuana advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., plans to give away thousands of free joints on January 20. DCMJ was integral in getting Initiative 71 passed in 2014, making it legal in Washington, D.C. to possess two ounces or less or marijuana, to grow it, and to give it away, but, because of congressional interference, it’s not legal to sell cannabis.
The advocacy group will start handing out 4,200 joints at 8 a.m. on the west side of Dupont Circle. Participants will then walk to the National Mall and toke at 4 minutes and 20 seconds into Trump’s inauguration speech.
“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 Adam Eidinger, the founder of DCMJ. “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 says that the protest isn’t anti-Trump or looking to disrupt the inauguration. “The main message is it’s time to legalize cannabis at the federal level.”