2 Protesters Arrested Outside Maryland Rep. Andy Harris' Office - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

2 Protesters Arrested Outside Maryland Rep. Andy Harris' Office

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WASHINGTON (AP/WBOC)- U.S. Capitol Police say two people were 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.

Harris said in a statement following the incident: 

"After I was physically confronted by protestors attempting to physically force their way through a private doorway into my office in Washington, D.C., the same violent protesters then attempted to forcibly open the main door to the office.

"In potentially dangerous situations like this, especially when a physical confrontation has already occurred, staff and Members of Congress are instructed by the Sergeant at Arms and the Capitol police to immediately lock down the entire office suite, and to call for Capitol police support. And that's exactly what my staff did, despite the efforts of the protesters to force the second door open as well. Some of these same protesters have participated in, and disrupted, town halls by talking over other constituents. I commend my staff for keeping a level head during dangerous circumstances.

"Yesterday’s events were truly shocking, and I strongly condemn those who promote physical confrontation as an appropriate response or solution to policy disagreements.

Despite the protestor’s aggressive confrontation, I remain committed to pursuing the legitimate medical research into marijuana through legislation in a bipartisan effort that I have sponsored alongside some of Congress’ leading marijuana proponents.”

 

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