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The DCMJ is keeping the pressure on the nation’s capital a month after their massive 4/20 smoke-in in front of the White House. The group, which led the movement to pass Initiative 71 in the District of Columbia, met last month with Obama administration officials in an effort to stimulate the conversation on rescheduling cannabis but was less than thrilled with the low-level staff they met with.

A special day

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The event this week was on a significant date for victims of the Prohibition of cannabis. The date and time were to recognize the birthday of, as DCMJ put it:

“One of the founding fathers of America’s failed war on drugs.”

That founding father is Harry J. Anslinger, whose attempt to bolster his position in the shrinking Treasury Department’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics led to a smear campaign against the plant he claimed:

“Makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”

The demonstration featured public pot consumption, but was uninterrupted by nearby Secret Service agents, while last month’s rally resulted in 2 citations.

Veterans represent

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The DCMJ asked its members to dress in business attire, and its veteran members to wear their service uniforms. DCMJ seeks to be taken seriously and wants to change the image that has been so popularized by those who use cannabis. It also wants to call attention to the plight of our veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Members of the Weed For Warriors Project share personal accounts of how cannabis has helped them. Others held signs emblazoned with:

“U.S. Veterans: 7% of the population, 20% of the suicides displayed.”

The rally culminated in a “die-in”, where members laid on the ground for 22 minutes, to symbolize the average of 22 veterans who take their own lives every day. Often, these forms of protest lead to mass arrests, as they disrupt pedestrian traffic. But this die-in led by Brandon Wyatt, an attorney and disabled veteran, was left undisturbed.

Plans for the months ahead

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Hosted by Russ Bellville and organized by local activist figurehead Adam Eidinger, the group is waiting on the decision of the DEA in the coming weeks on the possible rescheduling of cannabis before solidifying plans the demonstrate at national Democratic and Republican conventions. There will, however, be a town hall meeting on June 1st in conjunction with Marijuana Policy Project and Drug Policy Alliance where Jack Evans and Vincent Gray will speak. The meeting will be held at the Black Cat.

Did you get the chance to see the protests in the nation’s capital this year? How many more people need to call out for justice before our voices are heard? Share yours on social media or in the comments  below.

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