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Grassroots Activists Celebrate Local Marijuana Decriminalization Victories


by: Natalie San Luis

Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 01:00 PM CDT


The grassroots movement for marijuana decriminalization and legalization celebrated several victories in the weekend leading up to St. Patrick's Day.

The Texas Cannabis Report highlighted four community wins for the movement across the state.

Importantly, each of the successes took place in the tomato-soupier parts of Texas, far from the liberal Austin blueberry, indicating the potential for bipartisan cooperation over this issue.

Speaking of tomato soup, does anyone have the munchies? Read more about the weekend's events after the jump.

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As BOR reported earlier this month, a new Republican group fighting marijuana prohibition held their inaugural meeting in Houston on March 15.

Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition, or RAMP, was formed by Ann Lee to generate support for decriminalization and legalization of marijuana within the Republican Party.

Ann Lee became involved in the anti-prohibition movement after her son, Richard, began using marijuana to treat chronic pain from a severe workplace injury. Richard was one of the key activists promoting Prop. 19, a legalization measure, in California.

According to TCR:

A number of people spoke at the meeting, including several mothers who talked about the immense benefits that medical cannabis holds for children. Since legalization in Colorado and Washington, there have already been Texas families who have uprooted and moved in order to obtain medical marijuana which has been a great help to children, especially those who experience seizures.

Also on Saturday, the McLennan County Libertarian Party nominated two grassroots activists for the Libertarian spots in upcoming races. Clifford Deuvall, Executive Director of the Waco chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), will run against Republican incumbent Doc Anderson for the Texas House District 56 seat. Stephen Carter, the editor-in-chief of the Texas Cannabis Report, was nominated for a County Commissioner race.

In other NORML news, the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of NORML was approved to join the Dallas St. Patrick's Day Parade. Last year, the city rejected the chapter's application.

"Today we marched for everyone wrongfully imprisoned for possessing this plant as well as Texas patients being denied safe access to medical marijuana, farmers who have been forbidden by their own government from growing our heritage crop of industrial hemp and responsible adult cannabis consumers simply looking for a safer alternative to dangerous and addictive legal drugs like as pharmaceuticals, alcohol or tobacco," said Shaun McAlister, DFW NORML's Executive Director.

Some of the group's members also joined the crowd, signing up onlookers who were interested in more information in ending marijuana prohibition.

The organization's participation in a local parade may seem insignificant, but for grassroots movements like marijuana decriminalization, community victories are a necessary precursor to political ones.

Lastly, more than 50 Beaumont activists met this weekend to discuss opening a local chapter of NORML.

According to Port Arthur News, locals who used marijuana both as a medical treatment and recreationally showed up to voice their support:

While many at the meeting spoke of the medicinal traits the herb possesses, Mike Johnson, 55, described himself as from the Woodstock era, who enjoys smoking marijuana.

"I smoked it for 40 years, and I like it," he said. "Personally, I think this fight against marijuana has gone on long enough. They did not go through this much with prohibition, and I can't remember once in my life anyone OD'ing on marijuana. I never heard of it."

Natalie tweets from @nsanluis.

Photo courtesy of the Dallas Observer.



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