What to do if You’re Arrested

Some people are confused about the purpose of this demonstration. We want to tell you NOW that if you decide to smoke marijuana on this march or at the rally, you will be breaking the law and you might be arrested. There is no permit to consume marijuana, no such thing exists. 

MARIJUANA IS ILLEGAL!

If you are arrested, go peacefully. Resisting arrest may get you hurt or result in additional charges. 

If you are arrested, shout your name clearly to someone so rally organizers can keep track of you while in custody.

If you are arrested, do not panic. The march, rally and concert are held in the defense of Free Speech. You should try to leave your name (and a person to contact) with the local promoter’s number.  Try to get a list of fellow demonstrators to a person who is getting out on their own.

   Depending on your charge and where you live, you could be transferred to a local jail and held until Monday morning unless you arrange to bond out before then.  Typically, if you do not bond out, you will finally be brought to a pre-arraignment hearing at the local City court.  If this is your first offense for possession of marijuana, depending on which state or country you are in, you will probably be released on a low bond or your own recognizance.  Or you may be able to dispose of it right there for a fine.  Many municipalities offer first offender treatment for those arrested for simple possession of a small amount.  In some courts you can get diversion for treatment.  Some municipalities have a low fine, in some you lose your driver’s license for a year.  We rfecommend you get a laswyer or legal advice from a lawyer.  We attempt to have one for advice and pleas in the courts on the days following the march.  Typically, people carrying weapons or large quantities of contraband are held longer and can be charged with a felony. Those persons who have been convicted for possession on prior occassions may be charged with a felony as well.  If you had thoughts of bringing these things to our demonstration, do not try it.

Minors! If you are arrested, you will only be released to the custody of your parent or guardian.

   People who smoke marijuana should do so in the center of the crowd or on the march.  It is hard to make an arrest while you are marching.  Be aware that in many cities they send in undercover police to get probable cause and make arrests. do not carry anymore than you need for ‘SYMBOLIC PROTEST’.  Do not leave the area carrying contraband.  Remember, the police will have the events under surveillance. People may be subject to searches. This is how most people get arrested.

   If you are watching someone get arrested, it’s okay to chant, “Let them go!” or to take pictures. But  NEVER, NEVER, interfere with the police because you may get hurt or arrested and charged for interfering with an officer or worse.

   Everyone should think about these facts before he or she chooses to break any laws or act in an irresponsible manner at the march or at the later demonstrations.

We do not encourage anyone to break the law. 

We understand that some people may choose to do so. Those who do should be aware of the risks they face. We also feel marijuana use should not be a crime and we organize these protests and do other work to promote legalization through legal and peaceful means. We do not organize these events to throw a big ‘POT PARTY’.  You should realize that people bring their families to these events and that there are people here that are just observing.  We do not wish to look like the crazy people they label us to be.  We do not condone the use of cannabis by minors.  Anyone distributing marijuana to a minor is committing a felony.  Until the time marijuana use is legal, we are all at risk of imprisonment, loss of jobs, discrimination, and suffering untreatable medical conditions. We want you to fully exercise your right to protest (and HAVE FUN!) but also remember to be careful out there.

How to do a smoke-in

The article below was written in 1980 or so but has been modified and updated to represent a useful perspective on organizing […]