WASHINGTON - A range of groups are planning protests in support of various causes on inauguration day including an organization of pro-pot activists.
DCMJ, a community group fighting for equal rights for DC cannabis users, growers, and their families, plan to show their support of marijuana legalization by handing out free weed and lighting up during the inauguration.
The group has invited individuals who would like to participate to gather on the west side of Dupont Circle at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, January 20, and then they will head down to the National Mall at 10:00 a.m. They plan to hand out 4,200 joints of legally grown cannabis, and ask that everyone light up at four minutes and 20 seconds into President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration speech.
Nikola Schiller, the co-founder of DCMJ, says the whole point of the event is to bring awareness to cannabis reform, "our blunt point that we are trying to make is that cannabis reform needs to happen now. We want the Trump administration to fully legalize cannabis throughout the United States and the District of Columbia. We're afraid that come next week all the states that are legalized could have their doors broken down, we could have states like Colorado and California have all their industries be shut down stores raided homes destroyed and we don't want that to happen."
Nikola says that they are asking everyone to bring their ID when they show up to the meeting point because they do not want to give out cannabis to anyone underage. Only adults 21 or older can possess cannabis in D.C.
"Some people are not going to light up, some people are going to take their joints home and watch it on television, but this event is not a protest against trump. We are welcoming people from across the United States and we want people to know that there are a lot of people that voted for Trump that support cannabis reform and it's not a partisan issue it's an American issue," Nikola explained.
Nikola also says that over the years they've discovered that pot is not a gateway drug, and that thanks to the opioid epidemic they've seen cannabis as an exit drug and people have used it to get off heavy and hard drugs like heroin.
The D.C. law allows adults to carry up two ounces outside of their home, and the DCMJ has separated the joints into little bags to ensure that what they are handing out is not in violation of the law.
Although it is legal to have cannabis in D.C. it is not legal to smoke it in public, which is why DCML says if you do plan to participate it would be civil disobedience.