- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Marijuana reform advocates plan to distribute free pot cigarettes outside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, April 20 — the “4/20” date on which activists have held smoke-ins and other cannabis-related protests for years.

While it is illegal to buy or sell marijuana in the nation’s capital, it is legal to carry and consume small amounts of it but not on federal property.

Thursday’s giveaway is a precursor for a civil disobedience protest on Monday, when activists plan to smoke joints on the Capitol steps — an action that could prompt arrests.

DCMJ, an advocacy group for marijuana reform in the District, is calling on Congress to end a federal prohibition on cannabis and allow states to create their own policies on the drug’s use.

The group also wants Congress to scrap a provision that prevents city officials from creating and regulating a marijuana market.

“Why don’t you [Congress] let D.C. write their own laws on this?” said Adam Eidinger, co-founder of DCMJ. “And if they don’t like the law that we pass, they can overturn it. They still have that right, we’re not taking that away.

“We’re just saying, they’re telling us we can’t write any laws about marijuana. That’s totally unAmerican,” he said.

DCMJ members and volunteers say they have 1,227 joints to give away — a reference to the federal pot prohibition act — and will set up a booth across from the Capitol building. They plan to start the giveaway at “high noon” and go until 6:20 p.m. to allow people to pick up a joint after work.

Anyone who takes a joint into the Capitol risks arrest.

“In theory, you can leave work at 5, 5:30 and not get in trouble with the boss, and pick up a joint and go straight home,” Mr. Eidinger said. “At 6:20 we’ll have the most customers.”

DCMJ plans to distribute free joints to members of Congress, congressional staffers, credentialed journalists, support staff, interns and Capitol Hill workers who are at least 21 years old and have valid congressional identification.

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