On 4/20 this year, a group of well-known cannabis activists, DCMJ, decided to celebrate the holiday with a giveaway of over a thousand joints. Unfortunately, those efforts only lasted about an hour before the event was entirely shut down by Capitol Police – who decided to make 8 arrests. While all 8 of those arrested spent the night in jail, only 2 were charged with possession under federal law.
However, after determining that the amount was just shy of the legal limit under D.C. law, the charges have been dropped. Other than confirming that the charges were dropped, the U.S Attorney’s office doesn’t have much else to say on the matter.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office typically does not comment on charging decisions and has no comment on this particular case,” William Miller, spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office of D.C. says.
After multiple court appearances, the charges of possession against Adam Eidinger and Jessica Laycock have been dropped – but now the two want to know about getting their cannabis back.
“I just want to know where I go to pick up my cannabis, and so does everyone else who was arrested that day,” says Eidinger. Another arrestee that day, Jessica Laycock, has filed a legal challenge against the Capitol Police to have the marijuana and vaporizer that officers confiscated returned to her, per The Post.
It does not appear likely that Capitol Police will be giving these items back – even if it was a legal act under local law, it was still against federal law, which was what they used as justification for the arrest. Eidinger’s attorney believes that this was a stunt to gain attention after the recent confirmation of Jeff Sessions as AG, and his hopes to fully enforce federal marijuana regulations.
“We’re just gonna drag this trial out until the judge relents and accepts that, ‘Wait a second, this was spiritual,'” says Eidinger. “I’m not delusional—it’s a long shot, but i think we could win and it’d be tremendous.”
While charges for possession have been dropped, Eidinger and three others still face charges for their second act of protest – lighting up on federal grounds before the presidential inauguration. Eidinger believes that they could win the case, and that it could make a difference in the future of marijuana policy, with his defense being that smoking in protest was a First Amendment act.