WASHINGTON - Several people were arrested after marijuana legalization supporters return to the U.S. Capitol on Monday for a "smoke-in." The protest comes four days after several activists were arrested at a pot giveaway in the same area.
On its website, the group DCMJ called the protest a "mass civil disobedience" as they planned to gather at noon while smoking marijuana at 4:20 p.m. -- a time that holds significance for pot enthusiasts.
The demonstrators want Congress to lift the federal prohibition on marijuana use and to let individual states decide whether pot should be legal. They also want restrictions on pot use lifted in the District.
Smoking marijuana in public remains illegal everywhere in Washington, D.C. The group warned activists who plan to take part in the protest about the possibility of arrest.
Nikolas Schiller, a co-founder of the group D.C. Marijuana Justice, says two men and two women were arrested by U.S. Capitol police shortly after they started smoking on Monday afternoon.
Those arrested included Adam Eidinger, the group's other co-founder. Eidinger also was arrested with seven others Thursday during a pot giveaway near the Capitol.
Capitol police spokeswoman Eva Malecki says the four were charged with possession, a violation of federal law.
Thursday's arrests were unexpected because it is legal to possess small amounts of pot and give it away for free in the District. The demonstration was held on city land in an attempt to comply with the law. Prosecutors later filed charges against only two of those who were arrested.
Information from the Associated Press used in this report.