David Bronner, president and CEO of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, was arrested outside the White House on Monday morning after locking himself and hemp plants inside a mobile cage. He has been charged with possession of marijuana and incommoding-blocking passage. Police could not confirm Monday afternoon if he had been released.
Bronner, whose company uses hemp oil in it’s soap products, used a microphone to plead with President Obama to allow hemp harvesting in the United States. The CEO said he was moved to protest after the Obama administration recently rejected a petition with some 28,000 signatures gathered by hemp advocates.
Bronner’s actions prompted police to shut down traffic around 16th and H streets at about 10:30 a.m. The D.C. fire department used a chainsaw to cut open the steel cage door.
The protest began at 8 a.m. when Bronner’s trailer was dropped off on H Street next to Lafayette Square. Police arrived shortly after and worked to open the trailer. Bronner had the trailer designed so it could not easily be opened or towed. Atop the trailer was a sign that read “DEAR MR. PRESIDENT. LET U.S. FARMERS GROW HEMP!”
U.S. drug law defines, the same as marijuana, making the plants inside Bronner’s trailer illegal.
This is not Bronner’s first action in favor of hemp cultivation in the U.S. Several years ago, Bronner gathered with activists to plant hemp seeds on the front lawn of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
“Dr. Bronner is the source of about $100,000 dollars a year of hemp oil from Canada,” said Ryan Fletcher, a Bronner spokesman. “He’s doing this action in part because he wants to be able to source that hemp oil from American farmers, rather than exporting his dollars to Canada.”
Last week, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) introduced a measure that would label hemp as an agricultural crop. The amendment was backed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky).
Source: The Washington Post