At the core of the protest was a diverse mix of people from the Beltway and beyond. Young parents spoke of raising their children amid homegrown gardens, impassioned veterans called for better access to medical cannabis, baby boomers expressed their lifelong passion for the plant, and a few zealous attendees preached cannabis as religion. An impressive cadre of low-key federal government employees also showed up, wanting to support the cause but shying away from actively participating due to the all-too-real fear that it could put their employment and liberty at risk.

Activists chanted as the crowd gathered in front of the White House. “Deschedule cannabis now! Deschedule cannabis now!”

medical marijuana a new beginning

On Saturday afternoon, at a few minutes past 2 p.m., I found myself carrying the world’s largest joint to the White House.

Well, OK, it was only a symbolic joint — 51 feet long, inflatable, made of plastic sheeting, and emblazoned with the words “Obama, Deschedule Cannabis Now!” But it was large. And we were headed to the White House. I was joined by nearly 100 volunteers walking down Pennsylvania Avenue towards 15th Street. Shortly after I joined the procession, the enormous joint drew to a halt before a thick line of law enforcement.

Protest organizer Adam Eidinger huddled in negotiation with the police. A few minutes later he turned to the group. “We can’t bring the joint in,” he announced. “They’re concerned it may obstruct the view of the White House.”

Protestors carry large symbolic "Obama, Deschedule Cannabis Now!" joint banner through Washington DC streets

With that, the group collectively pivoted, dropped the massive J and began rolling it up. The joint was…

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