That’s because Congress has prevented DC from taxing or regulating marijuana. But it is legal to give up to one ounce of marijuana to another person who is also at least 21 years old.
Reggae music played through a large gold-painted speaker, and advocates held up green and white American flags with marijuana leaves on them.
One Hill staffer at the event who asked to remain anonymous said it’s “archaic” that marijuana is still illegal at the federal level and considered a Schedule 1 substance, along with drugs like heroin.
She also said there had been a “buzz” among Hill staffers recently about the event.
They first arrested two volunteers, who were identified as Rachel Ramone Donlan and a woman named Collette by another volunteer. Donlan tweeted that she and other volunteers had stayed up late Wednesday night rolling joints for the event.
“Unjust! Why?” screamed an event participant as officers brought Laycock across the street onto federal land. “The police are the criminals!” yelled another.
Laycock said the officers told her she was being arrested for distribution.
Edinger pointed out that two joints contain far less than an ounce of marijuana, the legal limit in DC for giving away marijuana.
Capitol Police later released a statement saying they had arrested seven people “after witnessing them distributing marijuana in public view to passersby at First and Constitution Avenue, NE.”
“Under federal law, it is unlawful to possess marijuana,” the statement said.
One man and two women were charged with possession with the intent to distribute, police said, and another four women were charged with possession. Police said the arrestees were being processed at US Capitol Police headquarters.
DCMJ is also planning to smoke marijuana on the Capitol grounds during a “mass civil disobedience” event on Monday.
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