- Group wanting relaxed classification of marijuana holds protest
- Rally includes use of drug
DCMJ, a community group fighting for decriminalization and the rescheduling of marijuana, headed the protest in which about 200 people participated and many smoked or vaped marijuana in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue at 4:20 p.m., a number sequence associated with use of the drug.
Protesters built a 51-foot inflatable marijuana joint replica that read, "Obama, reschedule cannabis now."
The group, in a statement, called Obama a "hypocrite" after he admitted to smoking pot as a teen.
Marijuana is currently designated a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Schedule I drugs are defined as "the most dangerous drugs" with no currently accepted medical use and having a high potential for abuse. The group wants it moved to a lower classification.
The protest was largely peaceful and resulted in at least two citations for public consumption, with a possible fine of $25.
Lauren Dove, one of the those who received a citation, said it was "more than fair," adding she was more out in the open then the other protesters and "not being discreet."
"The only way that we can change this is we gotta go out and make it a norm. We gotta smoke in public," Dove told CNN.
In 2015, Mayor Muriel Bowser implemented a measure approved by voters allowing residents over 21 to possess up to two ounces of pot -- but it may not be consumed in public.