23 reasons 2013 was a great year for the Texas marijuana movement

You may not realize it, but 2013 was a huge year for the marijuana legalization movement in Texas.

Now that we’re officially in the 2014 election cycle, we’ll be scouring the state for pro-cannabis candidates and working to convince current elected officials of the greatly important need to change our marijuana laws.

Let’s look back on the groundwork laid in 2013 to see just how far we’ve come and prepared for this year.

We had two major polls come out, the first showing 58% of Texans supporting legalization. The other showed 79% of Texans opposing jail time for simple marijuana possession. This is ample political ammunition to be used this year since it can now be considered popular to be a pro-cannabis politician.

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Captain Cannabis made his very first appearance ever at a marijuana event during DFW NORML’s Toker Poker Tournament and Halloween Party in Fort Worth.

There were over 100 cannabis related events in Texas in 2013 including meetings, activist activities, parties, and more including the High Times Doobie Awards in Austin. There was also the DFW NORML Toker Poker Tournament and Halloween Party in Fort Worth.

The first cannabis conference of its kind was put on by DFW NORML. A huge success, the Texas Regional NORML Conference was a three day event held in downtown Fort Worth featuring a slew of speakers on a variety of topics. Many major proponents of legalization, including former Libertarian vice presidential candidate Judge Jim Gray were in attendance, and the event drew several hundred people. Gray stated that “ending prohibition is the most patriotic thing I can do.”

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Spawning from the conference was the first dedicated cannabis news outlet in Texas. Originally headed to cover the conference for the CannaTruths podcast, it evolved into the first event coverage for Texas Cannabis Report, which was launched just days afterwards.

With the help of Texas NORML and its newly elected executive director Cheyanne Weldon, there was an effort to expand the number of NORML chapters across Texas. During 2013 new chapters opened up in El Paso and Lubbock. During this time, the new Lubbock chapter put on a conference and concert of their own, which even the Lubbock Chief of Police was receptive to. The El Paso inaugural event drew support from a Texas state senator. This pushed the number of Texas cannabis organizations to at least 15.

In November DFW NORML and the NORML Women’s Alliance successfully held a lobbyist training event to help prepare people for the 2015 legislative year.

dfwnorml-lobbyist-training

Two cannabis related bills were introduced to the Texas legislature, one of which was passed out of committee but was not scheduled for a vote. Activists from all over Texas descended on the capitol to give testimony and reserved two rooms for strategy meetings. They also held a lobby day.

Several rallies were held at the Texas capitol, including the annual Texas Marijuana March where hundreds of people turned out. At the same time, a march was held in Fort Worth which drew around 500 people.

fort worth march 2013

Team Hope through Cannabis, the athletic group of Texas NORML, competed in several runs and walks, and attended several sporting events in an effort to raise awareness and break stereotypes.

Team Hope through Cannabis (THC) fights to dispel the lazy stoner stereotype.
Team Hope through Cannabis (THC) fights to dispel the lazy stoner stereotype.

Vincent Lopez, who publishes The Austin420, started Patient Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics which organizes patients in Texas to talk about the medicinal usage of cannabis and inform others about the need for medical marijuana.

Both the South Texas College of Law and Rice University’s Baker Institute collaborated to create a marijuana policy course.

When a hemp legalization amendment came up in congress, 10 representatives from Texas went on record in support of legalizing hemp.

IMG_0221NORML of Waco threw a major marijuana party and one of the most conservative areas in Texas was very warm to it.

Both San Antonio NORML executive director Karli Duran and Hub City NORML executive director Colt Smith were featured as High Times Freedom Fighters.

The Dallas Veteran’s Affairs Hospital welcomed DFW NORML with open arms when they put on a Smoke Out Prohibition BBQ at the hospital this summer.

These veterans are members of DFW NORML
These veterans are members of DFW NORML

Texas NORML executive director Cheyanne Weldon spoke at the Border Legislative Conference where the mood was in favor of marijuana legalization.

Several NORML chapters around the state performed volunteer work, cleaning up roads and running food, clothing, and toy drives.

NORML of Waco performed community service by picking up trash along the side of their adopted highway.
NORML of Waco performed community service by picking up trash along the side of their adopted highway.

Media outlets in Texas changed their tone and began quoting cannabis leaders in the state favorably and provided positive coverage of the movement. The Waco Tribune-Herald featured a full section dedicated to medical marijuana. Even Dallas/Fort Worth radio talk show host Russ Martin got in on the action and talked positively about marijuana.

Kinky_Friedman
Kinky Friedman is running for the Democratic nomination of Texas Agriculture Commissioner.

Kinky Friedman announced his candidacy for Texas Agriculture Commissioner and came out with marijuana and hemp legalization as major priorities in his campaign.

Texas representative Steve Stockman, a die-hard conservative, signed on in support of a federal bill which would respect state marijuana laws.

Houston NORML marked nearly a quarter of a century of activist efforts.

Waco officials are considering getting rid of the ineffective DARE program.

Last but not least, the foundation of an alliance was laid between people in the cannabis movement and the Texas Libertarian Party, who has routinely showed up to marijuana events and proudly supports legalization.

Cannabis organizations everywhere in Texas are growing by leaps and bounds, and awareness is steadily spreading. This is just a taste of what’s going on here in the Lone Star State.

Keep all of this in mind when you wonder to yourself how close marijuana legalization is in Texas. With a little extra push from everyone, dedication and action will get it to happen in either the 2015 or 2017 Texas legislative sessions. So go out and join up with your local group, talk to your representatives, and vote in pro-cannabis candidates.

You better believe it’s a happy new year!

By: Stephen Carter
Contact Stephen via email at TXCann@gmail.com

Stay up to date with the latest cannabis news from across Texas by liking us on Facebook and following on Twitter

10 thoughts on “23 reasons 2013 was a great year for the Texas marijuana movement”

  1. i am a T12 burst fracture w/T.B.I. A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY. i was self medicating for over 12 years growing me own specific strains cureing many symtoms so i didnt have to take all the pills they gave me.someone complained about the smell the cops kicked in me door an took all me meds. i was a norml member and activist. but now im not aloud to associate with the group or people i got 10 years probation 10k fine i have to pee in a cup every month im back on ocycotin,morphine,syn. heroin,zoloft,xanex,soma,oxybutin,cipro,fosomax, just to name a few, when i was useing cannabis in its many different forms i wasnt having to take any of these pills except one, can we please bring this plant that heals not kills to TEXAS?

  2. This plant is a necessity, from the industrial uses (I use hemp shampoo and lotions) to the medical benefits, or just those who want to relax with it at the end of the day, instead of drink. I’ll be voting yes on any bill that is introduced.

  3. To all of you who said “within ten years”

    COME ON have a more positive mindset, I know yours is more realistic but together we CAN get it in 2015

  4. I want to help in aum kind of way to make this legal I’ve done smoked with over a 1000different people in dallas alone. I kno a lot of people ive been enjoying marijuana since I was 13 &im 27 now its time for a change and new jobs. Also I need a lil help I was arrested for a small bag did 9mnths probation I quit smoking for 70days faild a ua and shook hands with my po she told me I completed it and then all of a sudden I had a warrant out for my arrest and didn’t even kno I was being violated I lost my job I had for 4yrs cause I had a no call no show for the two days I was n jail for till I made bond now they want me to go to a 12wk marijuana intervention im bout to get a new job and the hrs are at the same time Im supposed to attend the class. I rather have a roof over my head then attend a long drawn out meaningless class im 100,% clean again I don’t need a drug class who can help me out I stay in dallas but cant really afford a attorney

  5. my father has had cancer for the past 2 years and his medications went from 15 different pills to 8 after cannabis. it is a shame he has to hide it. hopefully others will follow and see the light. for 2015 please make it happen for my dad and others like him at least. thank you!

  6. For three years I have wrestled with a very painful new health challenge that is somewhat rare by comparison to others commonly mentioned where pain is relieved by marijuana use. Relieved is an understateement. I can compare to the use of common narcotics and it is not only hands down
    much better, it has no side effects. This disease during the day is painful
    during daytime. At night it is unbelievable in its different types of pain and discomfort. The disease is called Lipdermatisclerosis. It is a venus outlet
    disease that causes leaking of tiny veins into the tissues, which then scars over killing the supply to the itssues. The tissue, deteriorates and become hard and dry like a mummy. The tightness constricts existing flesh and muscle in the areas. It causes neuropathy symptons of jerking electical pain, muscle spasm, joint pain, extreme swelling into the effected area. It is such a complex group of symptoms nothing seems to work. Reverting to Steroids is common for physicians. However for those that do not know, Steroid use on an ongoing basis is a serious health changing issue. The magic of steroids comes with a price. I am NOT unfamiliar with marijuana, experienced by most everyone I know including physicians and attorneys. Always available to most of them and used by 60% of my current aquaintances. Needless to say I finally accessed some marijauna to see it would work. It was the weakest trash I ever tried. However even the most inexpensive old
    dry marijuana effected my disease like NOTHING ELSE.
    Here is what I have found
    -It worked immediately
    -required very litte by worked effectively longer with more
    -relief lasted longer than any drug
    -was allowed to work and think after using it
    -it ELIMINATED sleep time agony I have know for years.
    -even the next day I had relief for hours
    -No side effects
    -inflammation of leg areas appeared as though I had an steroid injection
    reduced redness and swelling
    -restart of inflammation cycle was longer by hours
    -need for topical and CNS impacting oral drugs reducing to almost nothing

    Let me be clear..the fearful entrenched and frightened Republican
    followers, who smoke it in secret fearing for their jobs if they approve it.
    They need to have a new fear for their jobs. Stand in front of this useful drug and you may well lose your jobs. WHAT kind of man writes a note about wanting to use marijuana? I have been a leader in the largest medical clinics in Texas, My Family was in Texas before this was Texas!
    There are Founders of Texas are in my family, You are walking on the bones of my conservative Texas ancsestors. The ones that fought in Mexico,,both sides of the Civil war, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Irag, Afghanistan, They also fought Womens Rights, Alcohol Prohibition and change they finally had to surrender to. This nation, this state has destroyed more lives worrying about who gets high on Marijuana vs Alcohol than we shall ever know. This stupidity must stop. The impulsivity of children and teenagers is about parenting and reasonable control to direct their lives.
    IF YOU ARE REPUBLICAN AND BELIEVE THAT POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE SMALL AND NOT INVADE OUR LIVES
    AND CONTOL OUR LIVES…STEP BACK… IT IS TIME TO END THIS WAR ON A WEED THAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD WITH MEDICINAL VALUE.

    I do not believe this is about controlling harmful drugs anyore. I believe it is about keeping political jobs and even perhaps preserving the embarassment of grey headed Judges, Attorneys, Prosecuters and leaders that have destroyed the lives of young men and women all over this land.

    As a man in my 60s now the stuff does not make me want to dance and listen to music anymore. It makes me want to rest, relax and sleep when
    my pain goes finally away/. To all you other old farts who are so afraid of change…”Peace and Love” and long hair and marijuana was never about hurting your flag or your values…guess what…It was about Peace and Love.

    Can you dig it?

    Peace and Love
    Francis

    .

  7. They better legalize it next year this medical marijuana can save tons of people having diseases , seizures and cancer . Rick Perry better legalize it by next year. Out of my family they dont appreciate marijuana because it gets you crazy and be homeless . 3 of our family only appreciates marijuana .

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