Hundreds Of Protesters Smoked Marijuana In Front Of The White House
Hundreds of protesters that were calling for marijuana to be “de-scheduled” as a Schedule I drug, the most serious category for illegal drugs, smoked marijuana and got high in front of the White House on Saturday.
Marijuana is a Schedule I drug, along with heroin, bath salts, ecstasy, and LSD, which allows offenders to be prosecuted more aggressively and receive longer sentences. The drug was scheduled as such under the Controlled Substances Act in 1970 under President Richard Nixon as a precursor to his later-declared “war on drugs.” This “war” and its true intentions have been debated for quite some time, and one of Nixon’s top advisers, John Ehrlichman, admitted that the war on drugs was created to criminalize black people and hippies, who were anti-war.
Some examples of Schedule II drugs that are apparently safer to use than marijuana are cocaine and meth. Both of these drugs have a high risk of abuse and “severe psychological or physical dependence.”
At 4:20 PM, chosen because of the relationship between 420 and marijuana-use, the protestors lit their joints and fired up their bowls together and faced no disruption from the Secret Service. A 51-foot inflatable joint that read, “Obama, deschedule cannabis now” that was hand-crafted by artists for the event was also paraded around.
Adam Eidinger, a co-founder for the DCMJ and a leader in the 2014 campaign legalize recreational marijuana use in the District of Columbia, also helped with the protest. Eidinger joked that, “just like good stoners everywhere, we snuck in a 51-foot joint, past the Secret Service,” after law enforcement initially refused to allow the inflatable joint into Lafayette Square Park. The group then deflated the joint, snuck it past law enforcement, and inflated it again for the 4:20 smoke session.
According to the group, and to the surprise of many, no arrests were heard of at the event even though smoking weed openly is against the law in D.C. Obama doesn’t need the approval of Congress to reclassify marijuana, possibly to Schedule III, which is why the protesters were in front of the White House.
As for the future of the White House, many of the protesters supported Bernie Sanders, who has said that he would reclassify marijuana, and even wore Sanders gear to show their support.
Sandra, a D.C. based marijuana-grower, said that smoking marijuana had significantly decreased her pain from arthritis, sciatica, and depression, and said, “The only harm that [legalization] would cause would be to the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies. There are so many medications I don’t have to take because I smoke marijuana.” Though she is concerned for people that have complaints about the growing concentration in marijuana in recent years, she states that this is all the more reason it should become legalized.
“We need laws for it so we can regulate… so that people don’t have bad experiences.”