On Tuesday, protesters took to the streets in front of the White House to protest the Federal government’s classification marijuana as Schedule 1 drug, which puts it into the same class as heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and peyote.
In this instance, the phrase “took to the streets” is even more literal than it might initially appear. Because of the way boundaries are drawn in our nation’s capital, the streets belong to the the District of Columbia—which has decriminalized marijuana—while the sidewalks fall under the control of the Feds, which most definitely has not.
So when they toked up, as the Cannabist reports, at a few minutes shy of 4:20PM, it was far safer to stay on the pavement, so as to not stray in federal jurisdiction. And while two people, out of the 100 or so estimated to be in attendance, were cited for smoking in public, no arrests were made.
Marijuana’s categorization as a Schedule 1 drug has long been criticized. According to the government, for example, marijuana is actually more dangerous than cocaine. Think about that for a second: Uncle Sam wants you to believe that Rick James—you know, burning people he kidnapped with a crack pipe Rick James—was better off than Willie Nelson, who’s almost certainly going to appear on a stamp. It’s bullshit.
In related news, Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders recently announced his support for removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act entirely. Speaking to supporters in Madison, Wisconsin, the adorable gravely voiced politician and possible Muppet said:
“We can argue about the science and the pluses and minuses about marijuana, but everybody knows marijuana is not a killer drug like heroin. It should not be a federal crime.”
While it’s unlikely legislators at the federal level will make sweeping changes to the law any time soon, it’s encouraging to see marijuana reform getting progressively more coverage. The future looks green indeed. Stay tuned.
[ via the Cannabist, image credit Jose Luis Magana, Associated Press ]