Lawmakers in the US Congress are to be given free joints by pro-cannabis activists to mark ‘420 day’, an unofficial holiday for weed smokers.
Activist group DCMJ plans to hand out at least 1,000 joints to members of Congress, as well as staffers, journalists and interns. It is reported that each person will receive two joints.
The event may well be allowed to pass off without police interference, as smokers are allowed to possess and give away marijuana under state law.
Campaigners hope the mass giveaway will encourage lawmakers to vote in favour of renewing the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which is set to expire on April 28.
The legislation prevents the government from using federal funds to pursue people who are following their state’s cannabis laws. As it is an amendment rather than a full law, Rohrabacher-Farr has to be renewed every year.
Campaigners have been concerned by remarks by Donald Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions, who has threatened to crack down on states were cannabis is legal, and they hope the renewal of this clause will give them vital protection.
Today’s date – which is abbreviated to 4/20 in American protocol - was chosen because 420 has become widely-used code for marijuana.
There are various explanations as to how this came about – some suggest it was police code, others suggest a pioneering marijuana group met at 4.20pm – but April 20, or ‘420 day’ has become the ‘high holiday’ of the smoker’s calendar, with celebrations across the US and the wider world.