The great D.C. cannabis giveaway is happening inauguration day

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Cannabis activists are busy rolling 4,200 joints to give away on Inauguration Day © 2017 Joe Newman

Adam Eidinger has a deal that he’d like to offer President-elect Donald Trump: Come out and reassure him and other cannabis activists that he’s not interested in fighting the legalization of marijuana on the federal level and they’ll call off the protest they have planned for his inauguration.

A simple tweet would do it. Something that can put Adam’s mind at ease.

But if that doesn’t happen — and theres no reason to think it will — then, it’s on. We’re not talking about some sign-carrying show of displeasure. Adam and a whole lot of his friends plan to march from DuPont Circle to the National Mall, handing out joints along the way — 4,200 to be exact. And it’s all totally legal under D.C.’s Initiative 71, the new law which legalized marijuana in the District. Though, as Vincent Vega might say, “It’s legal but it ain’t 100 percent legal.”

If an ounce of pot can be rolled into about 60 joints, then under DC law, the cannabis activists should be perfectly within their rights carrying 120 joints per person (not withstanding any fat ones that are included in the mix). Handing the joints out is legal. It’s the smoking in public that could get them arrested. Adam, who has been arrested before for his cannabis activism, says lighting up during the demonstration will be a personal choice.

Adam, who was the driving force behind Initiative 71, and co-founded the cannabis rights group DCMJ, says their hard-earned victory in DC could go up in smoke under a Trump presidency. It’s not Trump that they’re worried about as much as it is his pick for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions. The Alabama Republican is no friend of the pot smoker.

“He’s a zealot,” Adam says.

Sessions, who may or may not be a reformed racist, is 100 percent, unambiguously anti-pot. In fact, he’s on record saying, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

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Rolling joints in Eidinger’s northwest DC home © 2017 Joe Newman

The fear of the coming war on pot has Adam rallying the troops. They can’t afford to be complacent.

“We need to build our muscle tissue,” he says while taking a break Saturday from rolling joints. He’s not talking about his sore fingers but the group’s ability to organize and protest.

As he says this, he’s wearing a red “liberty cap” that he sewed himself. The cap, which has historical tie-ins to everything from the American Revolution to the Ancient Roman Empire, has become a rally cap, of sorts, for D.C.’s cannabis activists. Today, Adam and the other volunteers who showed up in his Massachusetts Avenue home are all wearing them.

Elizabeth Croydon, a stand-up comic, pot activist and former Green Party candidate for Congress in Maryland’s 8th District, is there alongside Lisa Rough, a visiting writer for the Seattle-based cannabis website Leafly, and a guy whose name is either Kevin or Patrick. It seems to be a matter of debate. It’s all business, though. They are working hard, rolling joints, one after the other, except, of course, for the occasional smoke break.

Elizabeth says she’s ready to get arrested on Inauguration Day. She’s just fed up with the attacks on cannabis rights, including some states that still don’t allow medical marijuana. She figures she has rolled about 100 joints in the last two days. All told, the group has rolled about 1,000 joints. But that’s not counting the other clubs and groups around the city that are also busy rolling joints for the inauguration giveaway. They’re all out there rolling, Adam says.

“We have to go on the offensive,” Adam says, “or we’re going to have everything taken away from us.”

Originally posted on DC Focused.

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A whole lot of pot waiting to be rolled © 2017 Joe Newman

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Writer, photographer and media strategist based in Washington, D.C.

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