On Saturday, the “Reschedule 420” event was held outside the White House in Washington, D.C. Protestors openly smoked cannabis in front of the White House as a form of civil disobedience, to pressure the president to reclassify cannabis federally and to grant pardons for those convicted previously.
In spite of the attendees openly breaking the law, only two people were detained during the event and both were given a mere $25 ticket for public consumption, according to one of those two, Lauren Dove. A few protestors exclaimed “Thank you police” for the leniency shown by officers at the event. The issue of legalizing personal cannabis possession was voted on by residents of D.C. in 2014, and it passed overwhelmingly although public consumption is still a crime.
Speakers at the event included minor political party candidates, cannabis reformers, as well as members of Rhode Island’s Healing Church. There weren’t any national reform groups at the protest, as many of them didn’t approve of the public display of civil disobedience. Tom Angell of the Marijuana Majority group was one of those who didn’t approve of smoking in public protest.
While the government has no explicit plans to reschedule cannabis, the fact that this protest was allowed with minimal conflict might be an indication into the policy makers’ mindset on the issue. Cannabis legalization is slowly happening from state to state in the U.S. and it could only be a matter of time before changes happen at the federal level.