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Pot smokers to defy Trump, plan to pass around 4,200 joints at his inauguration

Since February 2015 it has been legal here to grow up to six cannabis plants at home and possess up to two ounces of pot, so long as you are 21 or older.

world Updated: Jan 06, 2017 12:30 IST
AFP, Washington
Marijuana legalisation,Pot smoking,Donald Trump
Members of the DC Marijuana Coalition, that plan on handing out around 4200 joints of legally grown cannabis, according to Washington, DC law, twist up joints on January 5, 2017, to pass out on US President elect Donald Trump's Inaugural Day. (AFP Photo)

Marijuana legalisation advocates plan to pass out joints -- 4,200 of them -- at Donald Trump’s inauguration, defying the president-elect and the seamless Republican rule he’s bringing to Washington.

Since February 2015 it has been legal here to grow up to six cannabis plants at home and possess up to two ounces of pot, so long as you are 21 or older.

But it is illegal to smoke the stuff in public, and especially to buy or sell it. That is because Congress, which largely oversees the US capital, barred it from regulating sales of marijuana.

So pot’s legal status in Washington is fragile. And it could vanish altogether if the upcoming Republican Congress votes simply to cancel the legalization that was approved here in a referendum.

“By giving away marijuana at inauguration, we’re setting up the battle flag,” said Adam Eidinger, 44, initiator of the 2014 pot referendum and founder of the DC Marijuana Coalition. “We’re about to lose our right.”

At his home, six pot plants are growing out on the balcony. A fire burns in the fireplace as three colleagues -- Elizabeth, Natalie and Felicia -- roll joint after joint on a coffee table.

Eidinger reckons 4,200 joints are about four pounds (just under two kilos) and worth around $20,000.

To abide by the limit on how much any single person can possess, the reefers will be handed out by 50 people on Inauguration Day, January 20.

Elizabeth takes about a minute to roll a joint, and Felicia just 40 seconds. It is just pot, with no tobacco mixed in. Adam has contributed from his own private stash of high power pot, rich in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active chemical in cannabis.

The goal is for everyone to light up on the National Mall precisely four minutes and 20 seconds after Trump begins his inauguration speech from the steps of the Capitol to the vast crowd that will gather below. 4/20 is a universal code for marijuana lovers.

There is just one problem: Marijuana is still illegal on any federal land, such as the Mall. So the people who get the free joints will have to make a decision.

“They can go home and smoke it and watch the inauguration on TV. Or they can choose to commit an act of civil disobedience, and smoke on the Mall and make a statement,” said Eidinger.

Asked if they will fire up, the three joint rollers answered, Greek chorus style, “oh yeah.”

First Published: Jan 06, 2017 12:25 IST