U.S. Capitol Police on Thursday confiscated more than 1,000 marijuana joints and arrested seven people at a Capitol Hill pot-smoking event that was intended to woo the aides of senators and representatives with free pot.
Congressional staffers may be among the seven people arrested for distributing and possessing marijuana at a pro-pot protest, but police did not identify those who were apprehended.
"As of 2:30 p.m., one adult male and two adult female arrestees were charged with 21 USC 841(a) (possession with intent to distribute). Four adult females were charged with 21 USC 844(a) (possession). They were taken to USCP Headquarters for processing," Capitol Police said in a statement.
Local advocacy group DCMJ organized a gathering Thursday to commemorate what has become known internationally as 4/20, a day honoring marijuana. The group told supporters to gather at noon by First and Constitution Avenues NE. The location falls under Washington, DC's jurisdiction, but just across the street is an area that's under federal jurisdiction, where possessing one ounce of marijuana remains illegal.
DCMJ co-founder Nikolas Schiller said the group's plan was to give away free marijuana, not to get arrested. However, Capitol Police made the arrests "after witnessing them distributing marijuana in public view to passersby at First and Constitution Avenue, NE."
The group is planning a civil disobedience on Monday where they will light up joints on the steps of the Capitol to lobby Congress to loosen up marijuana policies.