Marijuana legalization activists on Thursday successfully brought weed into the Capitol Hill office of Senator Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, in an attempt to have the nation’s next attorney general abandon his anti-pot stance.
At least two of the more than 20 activists who made their way into Mr. Session’s Russell Building office Thursday afternoon managed to sneak the contraband past a U.S. Capitol Police security checkpoint, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Once inside the senator’s office, one activist blatantly rolled a joint while others engaged in a conversation with Mr. Session’s communications director, Chris Jackson, regarding the medical use of marijuana and their concerns over the continued federal prohibition of pot, U.S. News reported.
Mr. Jackson was offered weed by the activists but declined, the report said.
While marijuana has been mostly decriminalized in the nation’s capital since 2015, the activists who smuggled pot into Mr. Session’s office risked arrest on account of having brought the substance into a federal building.
Despite marijuana being legalized for recreational and medicinal purposes by a growing number of states each year, the U.S. Justice Department still considers the plant to be a Schedule 1 drug with no proven health benefits. President Barack Obama’s administration has largely decided against intervening in states that have passed marijuana laws of their own in recent years, but activists uncertain about his successor’s plans have called on Mr. Sessions to promise he won’t change course under the incoming presidential administration.
Mr. Trump last month announced Mr. Sessions as his pick to lead the Department of Justice, alarming legal marijuana advocates who took notice earlier this year when the adamantly anti-pot lawmaker testified that “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
“We need grownups in charge in Washington saying marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought to be minimized, that it is in fact a very real danger,” Mr. Sessions said during a Senate hearing in April.
Thursday’s coordinated demonstration marked the second time in as many weeks that activists have visited Mr. Session’s office on Capitol Hill in hopes of better understanding how he plans to enforce federal drug laws as attorney general under Donald Trump.
“If you’re not going to arrest people in your own office who bring marijuana… why would you break down people’s doors as a federal policy?” D.C. Cannabis Campaign organizer Adam Eidinger asked during Thursday’s demonstration, U.S. News reported.
Mr. Eidinger and other pro-weed advocates previously said the planed to host a series of “Smoke Sessions” prior to Mr. Trump taking the oath of office, and plan to protest Mr. Session’s confirmation hearing next month as well as the president-elect’s inauguration.
“We can’t idly sit by and watch all the hard work we’ve done to legalize cannabis in D.C. be eroded by an out of touch prohibitionist!” the organizers wrote on their website.