Marijuana advocates are handing out more than 1,000 free joints to Congress members and staff Thursday on Capitol Hill. The “joint session” protest will run from “high noon” to 6:20 pm ET, and “anyone with a congressional ID” is welcome, according to the pro legal-weed group.
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“At first, I thought weren’t going to get anyone, but there has been a number of Congressional staff that told us they will come. I think we will get more [lawmakers and staff] later in the day, after 5 pm,” Adam Eidinger, co-founder of DCMJ, the D.C.-based grassroots pro-marijuana legalization group throwing the protest, told FOX Business.
Eidinger says while they don’t expect many senators or House representatives to show up because they are currently on a recess until April 24, they do plan to come back next week and smoke joints on the Capitol steps to make sure their voice is heard.
“It’s called ‘Reschedule 4/20.’ It’s about taking marijuana out of Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Congress really has no game plan to get any bills passed on this and we’re blaming the Speaker of House Paul Ryan for this,” Eidinger adds.
While illegal on the federal level, recreational marijuana is legal in D.C., but smoking in public is not and can run fines of $25, if under the age of 21, to upwards of $500 and 60 days in jail for those 21 years or older.
“We will probably get arrested. And, we already have a really diverse group of people willing to do it, too. From veterans, to Republicans, to Democrats,” he said.
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The group says they are pushing for a budget amendment that blocks the Justice Department from being able to interfere with states that have legalized medical marijuana.
California Reps Dana Rohrabacher (R) and Sam Farr (D) have already sponsored the spending measure in previous budgets. It has been passed by Congress before, but the amendment will expire on April 28 and must be renewed each year, according to DCMJ.
Additionally, DCMJ is also calling on Congress to lift the federal ban on recreational pot. Under law, marijuana is still illegal at the federal level even though it has been legalized in 28 states, including Washington D.C.
In January, during President Trump’s Inauguration, the same group held a similar protest, where they passed out more than 5,000 free joints to spectators in D.C. to smoke exactly four minutes and 20 seconds into Trump’s speech.
According to DCMJ, that protest—coined “Trump 420” –was not speaking out against a Trump presidency, but rather an attempt to voice their concerns over Trump’s attorney general pick, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, who in the past has opposed the use of marijuana.