Marijuana activists on Thursday handed out free marijuana joints to members of Congress, congressional staffers, credentialed journalists and 21-or-older Capitol Hill workers with valid Congressional identification. But the event didn’t go as smoothly as planned, seven pro-pot activists were arrested.
U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement that they invoked federal law in making the arrests. Two women and one man were charged with possession with intent to distribute pot, while four women were charged with simple possession, after officers observed them "distributing marijuana in public view to passers-by," the statement said.
The event started at (high) noon on 4/20, and activists were on the corner of First Street and Constitution Avenue Northeast, on a bit of non-federal land. Pot is also legal in eight states, and the point of the giveaway was to push for federal legalization of recreational marijuana.
“We already did a free give away during the Inauguration for the general public, and more than 10,000 people came to DuPont Circle,” said Adam Eidinger, a well-known activist. “Over a three hour period we gave away as a community about 9,000 joints.”
Recreational marijuana is legal in the District of Columbia as a result of a ballot initiative that voters approved in 2014.
DCMJ activists say they plan to actually smoke pot on the grounds of the capitol Monday to make their point.
Among those arrested was Eidinger, a well-known activist who along with Schiller founded the group that put legal pot on the ballot in the city.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.