WASHINGTON -- Throughout the day of President Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday, activists hit the streets of Washington, marching and demonstrating -- some breaking the law -- for a variety of causes, including LGBT rights, drawing attention to climate change, and immigration law reform.
Among them were a group of marijuana advocates who, in broad daylight in Dupont Circle -- the tony neighborhood northwest of the White House -- handed out 8,000 free joints to the public.
The mass distribution was totally legal, as the city's initiative 71 became effective in November 2015, allowing residents to own, grow, and distribute marijuana so long as money doesn’t change hands.
The handout’s organizers, DCMJ, had participated in the successful lobbying effort for the city’s new law and, on Friday morning, a crowd of appreciative tokers turned up to support them -- and get free weed.
Hundreds lined up as early as 8 a.m. to show their identification, receive a free hand rolled joint and spark it up, before the crowd marched to the National Mall to join others in watching and protesting Trump.
The group had also set up a faux prison cell off Dupont Circle to call attention to the incarceration of nonviolent marijuana law offenders. From a microphone inside the cell, businessman, activist and DCMJ founder Adam Eidinger called attention to how such offenses affect voting rights.
“Two and a half million people have lost their right to vote for a pot conviction since Ronald Reagan,” he shouted to the crowd. “Those people are permanently locked out of the process. ... That’s crazy.”