Adam Eidinger, founder of DCMJ, told CNN earlier in January that his group is protesting incoming US President Donald Trump’s choice for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, who is against legalizing marijuana on the federal level.
Eidinger said, "We’re defending our initiative against the federal government because we’re concerned that (attorney general nominee) Jeff Sessions will try to overturn our local laws here," adding, "We’re being proactive to share marijuana, which is our right, before it’s too late. We also want to educate Trump supporters that we can do this legally."
— jessica testa (@jtes) January 20, 2017
At an April 2016 Senate hearing, Sessions stated that "Good people don’t smoke marijuana," and "we need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it’s in fact a very real danger."
Demonstrators lit their joints four minutes and twenty seconds into Trump’s inaugural speech, as the number 420 holds cultural significance for marijuana users. Participants were warned that their protest was an arrestable offense, as weed consumption is illegal on that property.
— Nikki Burdine (@NikkiBurdine) January 20, 2017
The demonstration is promoted on Twitter with the hashtag #Trump420, and reports have lines of people four blocks long waiting to receive DCMJ’s free marijuana. Originally the group announced that 4,200 joints would be distributed, but volunteers say last minute donations pushed the number closer to 8,000.
Police were present but did not interfere, with one officer telling the Washingtonian, "They’re good…as long as everybody stays safe." The giveaway started at 8 a.m., and by 10 a.m. roughly 350 joints were left, even with two cigarettes were passed out per person.