Texas news outlet struggles to find opposition to marijuana legalization

Amarillo Cannabis Culture

A news outlet in the Texas panhandle thought that they wouldn’t have any trouble finding opposition to marijuana legalization in the area, however it turns out they were wrong, and admitted as much.

News Channel 10 of Amarillo covered a new group in the area called Amarillo Cannabis Culture, which told the news outlet that they understood that they would be facing an uphill battle.

Channel 10 set out to find out just how hard of an uphill battle the group faced, however after 12 interviews, they were unable to find any opposition to legalization. Continue reading

Medical marijuana bills scheduled for hearing in Texas

The Patient Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics lobbied state representatives in Austin back in January.

The Patient Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics lobbied state representatives in Austin twice this year to support medical marijuana.

Three medical marijuana bills have been scheduled for a hearing in the Texas legislature.

The bills are wide ranging, and much support is expected to be heard in testimony. The bills cover limited medical marijuana, a whole plant program, and medical defense in court. Continue reading

7 Texas cities to participate in Global Marijuana March

A local El Paso newspaper covering the 2014 Global Marijuana March.

A local El Paso newspaper covering the 2014 Global Marijuana March.

What once was a minor event in Texas, there are now seven cities across the state that will be hosting a Global Marijuana March, with over 10,000 expected to participate state-wide.

Hundreds of thousands of people have participated in the Global Marijuana March in over 829 different cities in 72 countries worldwide since 1999.

The marches have been a rallying point for those seeking to bring the subject of cannabis out into the open and educate people about the plant, its uses, and the laws surrounding it. Continue reading

Denton NORML draws 100 at inaugural courthouse meeting

Around 100 people gathered throughout Denton NORML's inaugural meeting.

Around 100 people gathered throughout Denton NORML’s inaugural meeting.

A freshly established pro-marijuana organization saw around 100 people gather for its inaugural meeting at the Denton County Courthouse square on Saturday.

Denton NORML, a sub-chapter of the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (DFW NORML), featured several speakers, including Loretta Labrada, David Sloane, and Shaun McAlister, who are all board members of DFW NORML.

Formation of the group came after there was a strong interest in the area for an activist organization to raise awareness about the need to change cannabis laws in Texas. Continue reading

One Texan’s protest at the capitol to save lives

Arthur Mayer at the capitol in Austin raising awareness about the need for medical cannabis.

Arthur Mayer at the capitol in Austin raising awareness about the need for medical cannabis.

One Texan took it upon himself to post up at the capitol in Austin earlier this month and inform people that a law in Texas is harming both children and adults.

Arthur Mayer, a 63-year-old Christian and activist who lives in Burleson, decided that he would head to the capitol to raise awareness about the need for people to obtain access to medical cannabis, and for recreational marijuana to be legalized and regulated.

“I’ve been to the capitol seven times and have met with most of the legislators, some several times” Mayer said. “This time I wanted to do something different.” Continue reading

Whole Foods Market endorses hemp legalization in Texas

WFM_Grocery_Bird_s_Eye_View_2

Photo Credit: Whole Foods Market

The Austin-based grocer Whole Foods Market has publicly endorsed hemp legalization in Texas.

A supermarket chain specializing in organic food which first opened in 1980, several hemp products can be found in their stores.

According to a recent statement by Errol Schweizer, “Whole Foods Market is excited to hear about HB 1322, which allows farmers to grow industrial hemp via permits from the Texas Department of Agriculture.” Continue reading

Fort Worth marijuana march to cost over $5,000, draw 5,000 people

Fort Worth Global Marijuana March 2015

A scene from the 2014 Global Marijuana March in Fort Worth.

 

As marijuana rallies in Texas grow, they also become more expensive. One of the largest chapters of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws resides in Texas, and their annual Global Marijuana March has become so successful that it has significantly risen in cost.

Headed into their third annual march in Fort Worth, DFW NORML expected the cost of a permit to be around $500 as it has been in past years. This year the permit will be $2,000. Continue reading

Texas veterans to lobby for medical marijuana

A veteran rallying for medical marijuana in Nacogdoches earlier this year.

A veteran rallying for medical marijuana in Nacogdoches earlier this year.

Veterans will converge on the state capitol later this month to lobby Texas lawmakers for medical marijuana.

Those who served in the armed forces and their families are encouraged to attend and speak with legislators about supporting medical cannabis legislation, including HB 3785 and SB 1839. Continue reading

Original series ‘Four Twentysomethings’ premieres on Monday, April 20

Press Release: They toke. They smoke. They joke. They’re “Four Twentysomethings.” Hardworking slackers Robert Kaval, Steven Hugh Nelson, and Steve Scapardine premiere their original series on YouTube on Monday, April 20 at 4:20 a.m. CT. Please, don’t call it a web series – it sounds more professional this way. Continue reading

Houston-based coalition group expresses support for marijuana reform

Houston Marijuana Coalition

A coalition of groups from the Houston area are jointly expressing their support for marijuana legislation in the state legislature.

The Harris County Young Democrats (HCYD), Houston Young Republicans (HYR), Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP), and Houston NORML are in full support of the proposed marijuana reforms heard ealier in the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee this week. Continue reading

Not all cops favor marijuana prohibition

Law_Enforcement_Against_Prohibition_logoWhile there are monetary incentives for police to keep the status quo, not all cops think marijuana prohibition is a good idea.

There’s even an organized group of us who are fighting to end the drug war every day. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) is an organization of criminal justice professionals who want to end marijuana prohibition for the same reasons that alcohol prohibition failed us in the 1920s — violent criminal enterprises become obscenely wealthy, and corruption is bred into the ranks of even the most honorable police departments.

“Controlled substance” is a bit of a misnomer. Prohibiting marijuana is simply living under the impression that prohibiting a drug, and creating ever-increasing punishments for it, will deter people from using it. Continue reading

Marijuana offenses a concern in ‘Raise the age’ debate for Texas

Over 2,000 protesters gathered at the courthouse in downtown Fort Worth in May 2014 to support reforming marijuana laws.

Over 2,000 protesters gathered at the courthouse in downtown Fort Worth in May 2014 to support reforming marijuana laws.

Local government officials throughout Texas are keeping a close eye on legislation which would raise the age for which someone can be tried as an adult from 17 to 18.

This legislation will likely have a major impact on teenage marijuana prosecutions.

Texas is one of nine states that treats youths younger than 18 as adults.

Shannon Edmonds, Texas District and County Attorneys Association governmental relations director, said the matter has been dubbed by many as “Raise the Age.” Even though 17-year-olds can’t vote, join the military or serve on juries, Texas has charged 17-year-olds as adults since 1918. Continue reading

Texas marijuana bills receive raves and rants during committee hearing

It was standing room only during the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee hearing. Photo by Shaun McAlister www.iamshaun.com

It was standing room only during the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee hearing. Photo by Shaun McAlister http://www.iamshaun.com

On a night when 22 bills were discussed in committee, marijuana by far was the most popular subject.

Over 60 people registered to testify on the four marijuana related bills which would decrease penalties for possession, and several of those same people testified on other drug penalty bills as well. It was standing room only for the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee in the Texas House of Representatives.

The hearing lasted over six hours, and discussion began on the cannabis bills about four hours in  following discussion on bills which would itemize court costs, make flying drones less than 400 feet over industrial areas considered trespassing, changes to court procedures, victim remediation programs, requiring police to get a warrant in order to obtain cell phone data, and many bills concerning drugs, most of which would decrease the penalties for possession of small amounts. Continue reading

Hemp research bill passes out of Texas legislative committee

A crop of hemp ready to be harvested.

A crop of hemp ready to be harvested.

A bill to legalize hemp for research purposes by institutions of higher education has passed unanimously out of the Agriculture and Livestock Committee.

House Bill 557, introduced by Rep. Joe Farias of San Antonio would allow Texas universities to commission the growing of hemp so that they may research it.

Hemp has proven to be versatile plant which consumes half the water of cotton while producing 250 percent more fiber, grows in most soil, and is used in over 25,000 products, hemp is legal to cultivate in 21 states. However, only three states currently grow hemp, while the other 18 have research programs. Continue reading

Texas bill would make driving with any marijuana in system illegal

Representative Cecil Bell has introduced a bill which would criminalize people who have any amount of marijuana in their system.

Representative Cecil Bell has introduced a bill which would criminalize people who have any amount of marijuana in their system.

A bill which was recently heard in committee would make it illegal to drive with any traces of marijuana in a person’s body.

House Bill 673 would set an intoxication level for controlled substances, including prescription medicine and marijuana. People will be exempt if they have a prescription.

Metabolites from cannabis consumption can remain in the body for almost two months after its consumption, long after any affects wear off. Continue reading