Cannabis Festival Celebrates DC Legalization Movement — But Without Pot

The first-ever National Cannabis Festival was held in D.C. on Saturday -- but organizers told people to leave their marijuana at home before they attended the event.

Sound confusing? Not quite as confusing as D.C.'s often-changing marijuana laws.

Under current D.C. marijuana law, those 21 years and up can legally possess a small amount of weed, as long as they do not use or expose it in public. But no one is allowed to possess pot on federal property -- and in the District, whether land is federal or D.C. property can change by the block. Those rules went into effect last year; earlier this week, the D.C. Council explicitly banned smoking pot outside of homes.

Festival planners said the event was to support marijuana legalization, not to break any laws, and they did not want anyone to consume cannibas at the event.

People could buy marijuana paraphanaelia and learn how to grow weed at the festival, but there was no seed give aways and people weren't allowed to light up, organizers said.

Hip-hop trio De La Soul, reggae artist Jesse Royal, Backyard Band and other music groups performed throughout Saturday's event at the RFK Stadium Festival Grounds (2400 E. Capitol St. SE).

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C. Council Member David Grosso, and other political figures gave remarks. See a full list of speakers and performers here.

Although no actual weed was sold or distributed at the festival, vendors included Cannabis Energy Drink, Hemp Butter, National Hollistic Healing Center and many other organizations that are active in the marijuana-legalization discussion.

"We envisioned creating a festival recognizing the spirit of the cannabis movement and the non-profit groups that have fought for so long to end marijuana prohibition," planners said.

This fest comes not long after pot-activists built and carried a 51-foot inflatable joint to the White House to protest President Obama's lack of action on the marijuana legalization issue.

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