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Rolling protest: Pot advocates plan inauguration joint giveaway

On Inauguration Day, 5,000 joints of marijuana will be given away at Dupont Circle, in hopes of federal legalization of pot.

WASHINGTON — The joints have been rolled, counted and bagged — all 5,000 of them. And local supporters of national marijuana legalization say come and get it.

DCMJ, the group that worked to legalize marijuana in the District, plans to give away the joints Friday morning for the inauguration.

“There’s hundreds of thousands of tourists coming to town, and they think D.C. is fully legal. But they can’t actually legally procure the cannabis,” said Nikolas Schiller, co-founder of DCMJ.

In the District, it is legal to possess 2 ounces or less of marijuana, and it’s legal to grow it. But it’s not legal to sell marijuana for recreational use.

Schiller said that’s where President Donald Trump could come in.

“We believe he can make America great again by allowing Americans to grow what George Washington once grew, which was cannabis,” he said.

Schiller’s group, and others in the D.C. Cannabis Coalition, are urging federal legalization of marijuana.

Friday morning, starting at 8 a.m., on the northwest corner of Dupont Circle, the group will hand out the joints.

“We’re checking IDs, because the law in the District of Columbia only allows adults, 21 or older, to possess cannabis,” said Schiller.

Some in Schiller’s group will be marching to Trump’s inaugural events, with the hopes that marijuana wafting over the festivities might catch the new president’s attention.

“Some people might choose to walk home and watch the inauguration on their television, some might choose to walk down to the National Mall, and light it up at 4 minutes and 20 seconds into President Trump’s speech,” said Schiller.

Smoking marijuana in public is illegal in D.C. And it’s also prohibited on federal property, including national parks and the National Mall.

However, Schiller and group co-founder Adam Eidinger believe smoking in public during the inauguration would be an appropriate act of civil disobedience.

“We’re telling people if they choose to consume cannabis in a public space, that they’re actually risking arrest,” said Schiller.

Schiller and Eidinger said the marijuana giveaway is not a protest against Donald Trump, who has supported states’ rights to choose how to legislate the drug.

“Unfortunately, the District of Columbia is not a state, so we don’t have any clarity over what’s going to happen in the next four years,” he said.


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