WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Capitol Police say two people have been arrested outside of Maryland Rep. Andy Harris’ office during a protest, and the congressman’s office says Harris bruised his wrist as protesters tried to force a door open.
Police say Kristin Furnish of Salisbury, Maryland, and Rachel Ramon Donlan of Washington, D.C., were charged Tuesday with possession and consumption of marijuana in a public space after allegedly smoking marijuana outside the office. Police responded at about 12:15 p.m. for a report of unlawful demonstration activity in the Longworth House Office Building.
On arriving, police say they were informed the demonstrators were attempting to enter the office.
The women were part of a protest by activists who say they support using marijuana for medicinal purposes to fight opioid addiction.
Congressman Harris’ spokespeople said the recreational marijuana legalization protestors attempted to forcibly enter the office of Congressman Andy Harris after he entered through a private door.
They said he bruised his wrist as they tried to force the door open.
He released a statement later Tuesday afternoon:
“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.’”