Marijuana legalization supporters are planning a “smoke-in” outside the U.S. Capitol on Monday, The Associated Press reports. The demonstration, in which the activists plan to break D.C. law and smoke weed in public, follows Thursday’s weed giveaway on Capitol Hill, which led to eight arrests.
Demonstrators reportedly expect to be arrested during the event, for which they’ll gather at noon outside the Capitol and light up at 4:20 p.m. local time.
Members of local pot activist group DCMJ organized last week’s 4/20 event, dubbed a “joint session,” in an effort to raise awareness and hand out marijuana to people in Congress. The group – which set up shop on a sidewalk between the Senate office buildings and the Supreme Court – offered two joints to any individual over 21 years old with a valid Congressional ID.
Their protest, which called to remove weed from the Schedule 1 drug list, highlighted the disparity between national and state drug laws. Possession of small amounts of marijuana is legal under D.C. law, though punishable under federal law.
Activists contended that the protest took place on D.C. land – not the Capitol grounds’ federal property. DCMJ co-founder Nikolas Schiller told CNN that police confiscated all the marijuana, but he insisted their activities were legal. “We believe that the US Capitol Police made politically motivated arrests,” he said.
While Capitol Police declined questions about what crimes the protestors committed, spokesperson Eva Malecki issued a statement that noted, “Under federal law, it is unlawful to possess marijuana.” While eight people were arrested, prosecutors only filed charges against two.
The arrests appear to have only invigorated the weed crusaders. “We have no intentions of backing down,” Schiller told CNN of their follow-up “smoke-in.”