Oh, what a tangled web we’ve woven!
4/20 was the day in question (our nation’s day of The Inhale) and protesters were out in full force, scattered across these United of States. In the District of Columbia, activists in the middle of their pro-pot demonstration were happily handing out joints to congressional staffers. But the marijuana laws in D.C. are kinda fuzzy. On federal land, pot is illegal. But on District land, where the protesters claim to have held their event, possession of the green substance is legal, up to two ounces. In fact, small amounts can be given away for free.
Jessica Laycock was among these activists, standing and inhaling for her rights. U.S. Capitol police arrested Jessica, along with six others. She was originally charged with possession and distribution of pot but eventually the U.S. Attorney’s Office for DC dropped the charges. But it didn’t end with Laycock’s release, no. When she was arrested, the Capitol police also confiscated her pot and vaporizer. But Ms. Laycock, a cannabis lobbyist, claims she was following local law and by her account, where she was standing, her right to possess marijuana was legal.
Federal police see it differently. According to Eva Malecki, a spokeswoman for the federal police agency, “Federal laws apply throughout the District of Columbia and federal law was applied by the [U.S. Capitol Police].” What a conundrum. Malecki also shared that the green stuff is a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance and Capitol Police protocol says the marijuana shall be destroyed.
“The strongest legal argument is that she was not doing anything unlawful under D.C. law to begin with, and she was never charged,” Evan Parke, Jessica Laycock’s pro-bono attorney, said. He also claims the Capitol Police have refused to return Ms. Laycock’s paraphernalia. Since there weren’t any federal charges, the police shouldn’t keep her goods. Unable to get a clear answer from the Capitol police as to why they won’t return Laycock’s possessions, Parke says he may have to file a lawsuit to let a judge decide the fate of her property.
No matter what side of the bong a person sits, one thing is perfectly clear. The marijuana laws and their application continues to be a murky road.
Featured image weed woman gets arrested