The push to legalize marijuana has picked up speed in recent years - with eight states and the District of Columbia passing laws legalizing recreational marijuana use since 2012, four of those - California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada - approving it in last year's election. According to DCist, DCMJ members were sitting a table giving away the joints, but even though giving away weed is entirely legal in D.C., they were tripped up by a technicality: they were on federal lands, which made it a crime.
The arrests occurred on the day known as 4/20, considered a national holiday by pot enthusiasts who held public smoke-outs around the United States.
The event - which DCMJ is calling their first annual "joint session" - is open to anyone who works on Capitol Hill with a valid congressional ID.
U.S. Capitol Police arrested seven activists and confiscated about 1,000 joints from marijuana activists on Thursday during a 4/20 "celebration".
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has expressed his opposition to legalized marijuana, saying "I'm not sure we're going to be a better, healthier nation if we have marijuana sold at every corner grocery store".
In addition, up to six marijuana plants can be grown inside a home.
Seven people were arrested on marijuana charges near the U.S. Capitol on Thursday as they participated in a pot giveaway aimed at pressuring Congress to legalize the drug. Marijuana possession is legal in the District.
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But for all the hazy revelry on display, the event underscored a very serious matter ― one that organizers certainly wanted attendees and journalists to ponder ― can you legally hand out pot one block from the U.S. Capitol?
The Trump administration has a different view on the legalization of marijuana.
Adam Eidinger, right, of DCMJ, and RachelRamone Donlan, left, are stopped from handing out joints during Thursday's pot giveaway.
Then, in a few days, the group has a more provocative protest scheduled, pushing for Congress to loosen marijuana laws and regulations.
DCMJ is also asking Congress to end the federal prohibition against marijuana and allow states to determine their own laws moving forward.
"It would be a grave mistake to ignore the will of the American people", said Nikolas Schiller, another co-founder of DCMJ.
Despite the trend, it remains a Schedule 1 drug by federal standards.