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An activist from the cannabis community DCMJ rolls a joint in a Washington, D.C., home on Jan. 16 in preparation for President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. A cofounder of the group said TIME magazines were used after learning a photographer on assignment for TIME would observe their operations. Other newspapers and magazines, like High Times, have previously been used when the group has been photographed by other media.
An activist from the cannabis community DCMJ rolls a joint in a Washington, D.C., home on Jan. 16 in preparation for President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. A cofounder of the group said TIME magazines were used after learning a photographer on assignment for TIME would observe their operations. Other newspapers and magazines, like High Times, have previously been used when the group has been photographed by other media.Lexey Swall—GRAIN for TIME
An activist from the cannabis community DCMJ rolls a joint in a Washington, D.C., home on Jan. 16 in preparation for President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. A cofounder of the group said TIME magazines were used after learning a photographer on assignment for TIME would observe their operations. Other newspapers and magazines, like High Times, have previously been used when the group has been photographed by other media.
Adam Eidinger, of the cannabis community DCMJ, rolls a joint in a Washington, D.C., home on Jan. 16. The group will distribute thousands of joints before President-Elect Donald Trump's inauguration.
A jar of joints is filled on a table as activists from the cannabis community DCMJ roll more in a Washington, D.C., home on Jan. 16 in preparation for President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Activists from the cannabis community DCMJ roll joints in a Washington, D.C., home on Jan. 16 in preparation for President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. A cofounder of the group said TIME magazines were used after learning a photographer on assignment for TIME would observe their operations. Other newspapers and magazines, like High Times, have previously been used when the group has been photographed by other media.
A placard depicting President Obama and some of his inner circle, altered to include joints in their hands, in a Washington, D.C., home on Jan. 16, 2017, as activists from the cannabis community DCMJ rolled thousands of joints in preparation for distribution before President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration speech.
Activists from the cannabis community DCMJ roll joints in a Washington, D.C., home on Jan. 16 in preparation for President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. A cofounder of the group said TIME magazines were used after learning a photographer on assignment for TIME would observe their operations. Other newspapers and magazines, like High Times, have previously been used when the group has been photographed by other media.
Felicia Simpson lights a joint with RachelRamone Donlan and Adam Eidinger, of DCMJ, as they take a break from rolling hundreds of joints in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 16 in preparation to distribute them before President-Elect Donald Trump's inauguration.
A sign brought by a volunteer sits during preparations for the #Trump420 event during President Donald Trump's inauguration in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 2017. An estimated 10,000 people showed up to receive a free joint given away by DCMJ near Dupont Circle.
An estimated 10,000 people showed up to #Trump420 to receive a free joint given away by the DC-based marijunana advocacy group DCMJ near Dupont Circle on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Giovanni Gopaulsingh, 25, from Maryland, and Ariel Johnson, 25, from Washington, D.C., smoke joints as they take a selfie during #Trump420 on Friday morning in Washington, D.C. An estimated 10,000 people showed up to receive a free joint given away by DCMJ near Dupont Circle on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. The event was put on to bring awareness to marijuana reform.
Seth Kaye, 26, a DCMJ volunteer dressed up for the #Trump420 event, takes a selfie. An estimated 10,000 people showed up to receive a free joint given away by DCMJ, a marijuana advocacy group, near Dupont Circle on Donald Trump's Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, 2017.
An activist from the cannabis community DCMJ rolls a joint in a Washington, D.C., home on Jan. 16 in preparation for Pre
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Lexey Swall—GRAIN for TIME
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Inside the #Trump420 Movement

Jan 20, 2017

As Donald Trump plowed through a notably somber inauguration speech, four minutes and twenty seconds in, thousands of liberals and conservatives stood side by side on National Mall and sparked up a joint.

Earlier that morning, DCMJ — a community of cannabis users, growers and their families – had given out more than 9,000 joints for free from several check points on Dupont Circle. The movement was designed to unite people from all political stripes, while pushing marijuana de-regulation to the top of the new government’s agenda. DCMJ’s original goal of passing out 4,200 joints was quickly surpassed when more and more pro-marijuana groups, home growers and even Trump supporters offered to donate their weed.

“The morning went great; it was very peaceful,” DCMJ co-founder Adam Eidinger tells TIME. “We had a lot of Trump supporters, who were mixed in with those who weren't there to support Trump. But nobody was fighting; it was like a Norman Rockwell painting.” Volunteers distributed the joints from inside a pseudo-jail cell, which served to illustrate that prison is still the consequence of marijuana prohibition in the U.S. The possession of small amounts of marijuana became legal in the District of Columbia in 2015 and while 29 states have legalized medical marijuana with eight legalizing recreational use, cannabis is still a controlled substance under federal law.

Eidinger and co-founder Nikolas Schiller, along with a couple of DCMJ volunteers manned ‘Rolling HQ’ earlier this week, at the organization’s base on Massachusetts Ave. in Washington. The crop of choice was DC Diesel and Rollex Sativa and the objective from the start was peaceful but distinctly revolutionary. During the rolling session – and on the morning of the inauguration - the participants wore Phrygian-style hats, associated in early modern Europe with freedom and the pursuit of liberty. The movement has gained a lot of media attention and as a wry gesture, the group have been using magazines such as TIME and High Times as a decorative rolling surface. “This action is not as intense as other causes I've covered, such as marching for immigration rights or women's rights or the Black Lives Matter movement, which are very much about our civil liberties,” says photographer Lexey Swall who covered the event for TIME. “This is more about our personal liberties. And also it's run by a bunch of pot-heads who are pretty chill!”

Lexey Swall is a photojournalist based in Washington DC. You can follow her on Instagram here.

Andrew Katz, who edited this photo essay, is TIME’s International Multimedia Editor. Follow him on Twitter @katz.

Alexandra Genova is a writer and contributor for TIME LightBox. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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