Marijuana activists are hosting a "Joint Session" for Congress near Capitol Hill Thursday, where they plan to hand out thousands of joints to congressmen and their staffers.
The so-called JointSession will take place Thursday from noon to 4:20 p.m. The organization handed out thousands of free joints in D.C. on January 20 for President Donald Trump's inauguration day.
Though there were plenty of nighttime events planned, about two dozen pot fans in the Los Angeles area opted for a morning celebration, gathering around 9 a.m.at a trailhead in the Altadena foothills for "High'ke", a 2.5-mile trek that promised joints to everyone who made it to the 5,600-foot peak of Mount Lowe. While someone may be inclined to take advantage of Washington's consumption laws in one of its attractive parks, numerous District's outdoor spaces are actually managed by the Interior Department.
That was one of many questions surrounding an event held Thursday just one block from the U.S. Senate.
So the protest might not be as effective as organizers had hoped, but Schiller stressed that these events nevertheless essential to making gains for cannabis reform in the nation's capital since there is no other way for residents of the District of Columbia to pressure Congress.
"We have no intentions of backing down", Schiller said. "While national organizations like NORML are calling for people to contact their members of Congress on 4/20, we can't and it's why we must protest".
The push to legalize marijuana has picked up speed in recent years - with eight states and the District of Columbia passing laws legalizing recreational marijuana use since 2012, four of those - California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada - approving it in last year's election. Last May, Rep. Rohrabacher became the first congressperson to admit to using cannabis while in office.
Despite Congress being in recess, activists are hoping that lawmakers will begin paying attention to their efforts to change draconian marijuana laws.
Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending the nation's almost century-long experiment with marijuana prohibition. But that will likely take many more years of hard work and activists know it.
Nikolas Schiller, the other DCMJ co-founder, told CNN the giveaway had to end early because the cops took all of the pot.
"It was an incredibly successful event", said Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, "We must continue to educate our legislators and neighbors alike if we are ever to end the prohibition-industrial-complex and respect the basic rights of those who choose to consume marijuana, a substance safer than now legal products like alcohol or cigarettes".