Protesters will light up and smoke the drug during President-elect Donald Trump's speech
When Donald Trump is sworn into office in Washington DC on January 20th, his supporters will revel in his promises to make America great again, build a wall, and shake up the economy. Others, though, will take a leaf out of Michelle Obama’s book, seeing the lowering of American democracy as an opportunity to go high. While getting high.
Pro-marijuana group DCMJ, which calls for the legalisation of the drug across all 50 states, plans to roll and distribute 4,200 joints on the morning of the President-elect’s inauguration, in an effort to change the incoming administration’s mind on its stance on weed rights. Handing them out freely, volunteers will line the parade from Dupont Circle to DC’s National Mall, encouraging everyone to light up four minutes and 20 seconds into the new Republican president’s speech, a nod to April 20th, recognised as ‘Weed Day’ by the pro-marijuana community.
Sales of marijuana are still illegal in Washington DC, but people over the age of 21 are permitted to grow and possess less than 55g of the drug for personal use. While handing out the joints for free is not a crime, smoking on federal property is, but the event organisers say everyone will be informed of the risks involved with the protest.
“We’re showing the way,” Adam Eidinger told Vocativ. “We have legal marijuana in DC and we’re gonna force tolerance. At one o’clock we could all be arrested that day.”
Eidinger joins an increasingly vocal contingent of pro-marijuana activists across the US expressing concern that the new Republican administration set to take over the White House next week will work to counteract the recent moves towards legalisation nationwide. On November’s Election Day, as well as the Electoral College handing Trump the Oval Office, seven states voted to legalise marijuana in some form, with a recreational proposal in Arizona the only one on any ballot to lose.
“Trump personally has been all over the map” when it comes to legalisation, says Eidinger, but his selection of Jeff Sessions as his attorney general “couldn’t have been a worse pick for cannabis reformers.” At a congressional hearing in April 2016, the Alabama senator said: “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
In order to achieve its mellowed civil disobedience during Trump’s speech, the DCMJ group is hoping to receive donations from independent growers all across the Washington metropolitan area.
“It’s a stunt, but I would call it off in a second if Donald Trump asked me to,” Eidinger said. “The goal is to emotionally affect Trump supporters and Donald Trump himself on the issue.”