Advocates of marijuana took to protesting at congressman Andy Harris’ Washington D.C. office on Tuesday, resulting in the arrest of two people.
Harris is the U.S. Representative for Maryland’s 1st congressional district, representing all of the Eastern Shore and other parts of Maryland.
According to Harris’ spokeswoman, Julia Nista, the protesters attempted to forcibly enter Harris’ office after he entered through a private door. His wrist was bruised as they tried to force the door open.
Harris stated, “Today’s aggression by protesters who disagree with my position on the legalization of recreational marijuana demonstrates the problem with political discourse today. We all must agree to have a civilized debate when disagreement occurs. My parents fled communist Eastern Europe where people with different political opinions were harassed and punished, and it has no place in America. I reject the recent comments of one of my House colleagues who encouraged harassment of political opponents, saying ‘You get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.’ As Rep. Steve Scalise understands all too well and tweeted today — ‘Assaulting anyone because you disagree with them is NEVER acceptable.’”I
It was at 12:15 p.m. that United States Capitol Police officers responded to a report of unlawful demonstration activity outside of room 1533 in the Longworth House Office Building.
Two female suspects, Kristin Furnish, 28, of Salisbury, Maryland, and Rachel Ramon Donlan, 46, of Washington, D.C., were arrested and transported to United States Capitol Police Headquarters for processing, police said.
The women were charged with 21 USC 844(a) (possession), and D.C. Code §48-911.01, Consumption of Marijuana in Public Space Prohibited; Impairment Prohibited.
“Citizens of Maryland and the District of Columbia are tired of Andy Harris turning a blind eye to a safe solution to the opioid crisis,” said Kris Furnish, co-founder of Maryland Marijuana Justice.
“Marijuana is a proven pain management alternative to opioids, but in Maryland we have only seen an increase in opioid related deaths since Harris was first elected in November 2010. Members of the GOP Congress led by Congressman Harris remain willfully ignorant and outright hostile to cannabis reform. This must stop.”