Capitol Police Arrest 7 at Joint Giveaway Event

UPDATE: Capitol Police have arrested seven people so far at today’s “Joint Session” event, NBC 4 reports.

DCMJ, a local marijuana advocacy group, organized the event. Its co-founder, Adam Eidinger, was among those arrested, according to Mark Segraves of NBC Washington.

Giving away up to an ounce of marijuana is legal under D.C. law, as long as it doesn’t happen on federal grounds. The giveaway is reportedly happening on D.C. land, at the corner of 1st Street NE and Constitution Avenue NE.

Advocates for legalized pot plan are handing out free joints to Congressional staffers and reporters who work on Capitol Hill from noon to 4:20 p.m. Anyone with a valid congressional ID can grab a free joint.

The action on Thursday afternoon is intended as a protest against federal interference with states that have legal pot. Thursday is April 20, or 4/20, the annual marijuana advocacy holiday.

Related: The Origins of 4/20, Marijuana’s High Holiday

Recreational marijuana is legal in the District of Columbia as a result of a ballot initiative that voters approved in 2014. Giving it away for free is also legal. The city government has been barred by Congress from taxing pot or regulating its sale.

Related: White House Expects Federal Crackdown on Legal Marijuana

Another protest is scheduled for Monday that could lead to arrests. Activists plan to light up and smoke pot near the Capitol. Smoking in public remains illegal in Washington, although the prohibition often goes unenforced.

As recently as the inauguration of president Donald Trump, protesters handed out joints near the National Mall without punishment.

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(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press and CBS D.C. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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