Friday morning, thousands of people formed a line that stretched four blocks near Dupont Circle – all waiting to get their hands on free joints.
DCMJ, a D.C.-based marijuana legalization advocacy group, handed out more than 8,000 joints to District residents and tourists in town for the inauguration at their event #Trump420.
Organizers said #Trump420 was meant to send the message to U.S. President Donald Trump that marijuana should be legalized in all 50 states. Marijuana was decriminalized in D.C. and voters approved adult recreational use in 2014.
When the event officially began Friday at 8 a.m., sidewalks were already overflowing with both people wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and people carrying signs in protest of the new president.
Some members of the crowd shouted variations of popular campaign phrases, like “When they go low, we get high” and “Make America kind again.”
Gavin Coffin, who traveled from Los Angeles for Inauguration Day, said he arrived to Dupont Circle Friday morning at 6:30 a.m. and was the first person in line to get free joints.
Coffin said he supports marijuana legalization to help people with medical issues.
“I’m a Trump supporter but I also have medical problems,” Coffin said. “I have been off painkillers and now I smoke grass once and awhile and it helps, so that’s why I’m pro-marijuana.”
Coffin said he suffers from “Elephant Man Disease” – a common name for Proteus syndrome, which causes benign tumors and atypical bone development.
After standing in line for most of the morning, Coffin lit one of his free joints on Massachusetts Ave. and said he would continue to the National Mall. A group on the Mall planned to begin smoking four minutes and 20 seconds into Trump’s inaugural address, he said.
Some of the volunteers handed out joints from inside a cage, meant to signify that some people in the U.S. are in jail for possessing or selling marijuana, which is legal in other parts of the country.
Taylor Stewardson, a first-time volunteer for DCMJ, said he got involved because Trump’s administration will be the “darkest time.”
“I’m going to stand up and do something about this, because this is bullshit,” Stewardson said.