The White House Will Probably Smell Like Weed on Inauguration Day

The president-elect may not be welcomed into the White House with much musical fanfare, but his inauguration will at least smell like a party. On January 20, a group of local marijuana activists called the DCMJ will be handing out 4,200 free joints for smoking on the National Mall, and if the winds comply with historical patterns, a massive cloud of pot smoke will make its way straight for Donald Trump himself.

The event, which the DCMJ is calling the inaugural #Trump420, is meant to be a show of support for the federal legalization of cannabis — and a warning to Trump not to repeal Initiative 71, which made it legal for citizens to possess up to 2 ounces of weed in D.C. After meeting at Dupont Circle at 8 a.m., supporters of the group will march to the National Mall, where they will wait until 4 minutes and 20 seconds of Trump’s speech have passed before lighting up. If the records of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are any indication, the scent of weed should fill the White House just moments later.

Winter winds around the National Mall usually blow in the direction of the White House.

According to the laboratory’s 2006 analysis of wintertime winds in Washington D.C., the monthly vector average wind direction at both sites — it refers to the district’s two weather stations at Reagan and Dulles Airports — is “northwesterly.” It is clear, from a map of D.C., that the White House is directly northwest from a large region of the National Mall. If the DCMJ is looking to make its presence known olfactorily, it would be a good idea for its members to assemble near the Smithsonian National museums and east of the Washington Monument. There, winds averaging between 3.6 and 4.6 meters per second are likely to aid them with their goal.

Winds blowing northwest and south were most common in D.C. during the winters of 1999-2000 through 2003-2004.

Pacific Northwest National Labs

Success is not guaranteed: Closer analysis shows that the second most common wind direction is south, toward the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and away from the White House.

Weather aside, the most formidable obstacle the DCMJ will face on Inauguration Day is the law. While it is legal in D.C. to give away free marijuana, it is definitely illegal to smoke it in a public environment. Unfortunately for D.C. residents, the entire district is pretty much federal land, so until private smoking clubs become approved, there are few places people can smoke legally outside of their own homes.

It appears, however, that the DCMJ is willing to risk arrest on Inauguration Day for the sake of its cause. Who knows — perhaps all that’s really needed to reverse Trump’s seemingly anti-cannabis stance will be a few deep breaths in a White House-sized hotbox.


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