Demonstrators protesting in support of legalizing marijuana gathered outside the office of Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
Harris’ team confirmed to the Washington Examiner that a marijuana protest occurred outside Harris’ office in Washington, D.C., and claimed that Harris' wrist was bruised after protesters tried to "force open" a door to his office.
U.S. Capitol Police told the Washington Examiner that officers responded to a report of unlawful demonstration activity just after noon and were informed that protesters were seeking to enter Harris' office. Additionally, two of the protesters had lit marijuana cigarettes.
The two female suspects — Kristin Furnish, 28, and Rachel Ramon Donlan, 46 — were arrested and taken to the U.S. Capitol Police headquarters. They were also charged for possessing and consuming marijuana in a prohibited public space.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the event was organized in part by marijuana advocate Adam Eidinger, who said that Donlan and Furnish were attempting to speak with Harris but that he “ran past them and slammed the door in their face.”
Eidinger said that there are plans to protest in a similar manner at one of Harris' local offices in Maryland later on Tuesday.
Harris said that the episode highlights the "problem with political discourse today."
“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," Harris said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. "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,’” Harris added.
Harris has been outspoken about his opposition to legalizing marijuana — most notably when he opposed efforts to legalize marijuana in Washington, D.C.