You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Free pot giveaway leads to arrests near U.S. Capitol


The battle over federal and local marijuana laws played out Thursday on the streets of Washington, D.C. 

U.S. Capitol police arrested four pot-legalization advocates on federal charges of possessing and distributing marijuana. The group was handing out free joints to interested congressional staffers, federal employees and curious tourists on a city-owned sidewalk across the street from the U.S. Capitol.

>> Read more trending news

Possessing up to 2 ounces of pot is legal in the District of Columbia as long as it’s not on federal property. City law also allows distribution of marijuana up to an ounce as long as money isn't exchanged.

Organizer Adam Eidinger said the protesters are calling on Congress to vote on an amendment that would prohibit the federal government from interfering with state and local laws legalizing the drug. He said he was surprised by the arrests.
“We're going to have to regroup right now and decide what to do, but this was not expected,” Eidinger said after four of his volunteers were led away in handcuffs. “This is a lawful place to give away cannabis because it’s D.C. land."
The Trump administration has a different view on the legalization of marijuana. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly reiterated this week that possessing marijuana is against federal law.
“Until law is changed by the United States Congress, we in DHS along with the rest of the federal government, are sworn to uphold all the laws that are on the books,” Kelly said.

One of the volunteers led away by police was RachelRamone Donlan. Before her arrest, the Boston native said she was protesting because she’s worried about the Trump administration's vow to fight pot legalization.

“I’m concerned about what the federal government's going do,” Donlan said. “I’m worried about Massachusetts and the states’ rights.”
The organizers do not expect this to be the last showdown with the federal government. Advocates plan to light up joints on the steps of the U.S. Capitol next week.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Recall: 42K pounds of ready-to-eat chicken undercooked
Recall: 42K pounds of ready-to-eat chicken undercooked

DECATUR, Ala. -- More than 42,000 pounds of chicken are being recalled after several people complained that the ready-to-eat chicken was undercooked, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. In a recall notice, officials said WFSP Foods in Decatur, Alabama, received several customer complaints...
Pit bull breaks from chain, mauls man to death
Pit bull breaks from chain, mauls man to death

A man was mauled to death Tuesday in Dayton by a pit bull, authorities said.  Dayton police were waiting Tuesday morning for a search warrant so they could enter a house near where the dogs were found.  >> Read more trending news  Three dogs were removed from the house after a dog fatally mauled a man who was walking in an...
Girl who lost police officer dad secretly buys officer’s meal
Girl who lost police officer dad secretly buys officer’s meal

An 8-year-old New Jersey girl is touching hearts across the country after she secretly paid for the dinner of a police officer she encountered in a restaurant.  Mikayla Raji and her mother, Mimi Raji, were eating in a restaurant in Helmetta Friday night when Jamesburg police Officer Joseph Quinn stopped in to pick up his own meal, according...
Dale Earnhardt Jr. to retire from NASCAR following 2017
Dale Earnhardt Jr. to retire from NASCAR following 2017

After 18 seasons and more than 600 races behind the wheel, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will bring his NASCAR Cup Series driving career to a close at the conclusion of 2017. Today, he shared the news with members of his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team. >> Read more trending news  The fan favorite and two-time Daytona 500 champion will discuss his...
Boy, 13, dies after dirt bike crash
Boy, 13, dies after dirt bike crash

Jonathan Gonzalez loved being outside. Like many 13-year-olds, the Wellington, Florida, resident loved football, basketball, fishing and just being with friends. On Sunday he told his mother, Maria, he was going outside for a bit. Like she told him every time he’d go out to play, she said “Be careful.” Gonzalez recounted how...
More Stories