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Libertarian Party of Texas nominates cannabis friendly candidates

LPT Convention

This past weekend the Libertarian Party of Texas held their state convention to nominate state-wide candidates. Staff with the Texas Cannabis Report was on hand to not only cover, but also participate in the convention itself.

Support for cannabis legalization has always been strong in the Libertarian Party and this year it was unmistakeable.

DFW NORML was invited to the convention to put up a booth, which both Adam Hess and Ed Maddox operated. They also brought the 420 Truth Enforcement car with them as well, a former police car which now has marijuana emblems on it complete with green lights to replace the red and blue.

Running around the convention and taking photos was DFW NORML’s executive director Shaun McAlister, who was hired by the Libertarian Party to officially photograph the event. He also gave away free headshots to people at his I Am Shaun booth which his girlfriend and dedicated activist Andrea Brown helped him with.

Editor in Chief of the Texas Cannabis Report, Stephen Carter, was on hand as a delegate from McLennan County to participate in the nomination process along with Texas NORML’s deputy director, Jax Finkel. Over 200 delegates cast votes at the convention.

After the dust had settled, two strong friends of the cannabis movement were nominated to represent the party in state-wide races, that being Jamie Balagia, who is running for Attorney General, and David (Rocky) Palmquist, the Agriculture Commissioner candidate.

Photo by Shaun McAlister, www.iamshaun.com
Photo by Shaun McAlister, www.iamshaun.com

There was strong support and applause for both candidates, and Balagia quipped that if he got pulled over and arrested for marijuana, that they planted it on him, to which there was much clapping and laughter. Texas Cannabis Report has an in-depth interview with Balagia which will air on the next podcast episode. He has also confirmed that he will be speaking at DFW NORML’s Global Marijuana March in Fort Worth on May 3.

Palmquist stated to Texas Cannabis Report, “Isn’t it high time that we Texans get off our collective butts and get with the program and legalize marijuana and hemp? Or, will we sit around while other states pass us by? Our farmers deserve freedom, our farmers deserve to grow what they want. Our farmers deserve to live life as they choose. Will we allow giant mega corps like Monsanto and ADM and big pharma to control our crops from the field to our pharmacy and to our kitchen? I say NO! I say legalize marijuana and put the private prison systems acting as revenue agents for the government out of business. We must cut the head off the beast now! I don’t want to just reform marijuana laws, I want the prohibition laws gone completely!”

Rocky and Jaime after winning their nominations. Photo by Shaun McAlister.
Rocky and Jaime after winning their nominations.
Photo by Shaun McAlister.

The governor slot went to Kathie Glass, who managed to grab the nomination by one vote. Robert Butler handily won the Lt. Governor nomination, Mark Miller became the Railroad Commissioner nominee, Justin Knight will be the Land Commissioner nominee, Ben Sanders is running for Comptroller, and the US Senate seat up for grabs this year will be sought by Rebecca Paddock.

While cannabis legalization tends to be a default position for libertarians, in the coming weeks each candidate will get a full profile on the topic.

The party also elected new officers including Kurt Hildebrand as chair, Ben Farmer as vice chair, and John Wilford as treasurer. The addition of these three add an immense amount of youth leadership to a party which is already seeing a strong amount of support from young voters. Gary Johnson was re-elected as secretary.

The Libertarian Party seems to be ahead of the curve when it comes to stances on cannabis, will this give them an edge over the Democratic and Republican candidates?

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

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a 28 year old journalist and information technology specialist living in Waco, Texas and serves as Deputy Director for NORML of Waco. He has been working with the cannabis movement since 2009. He founded Texas Cannabis Report in 2013 to bring Texans accurate cannabis related news.

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  1. Peter Cox
    April 14, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Please don’t be misled by the fact that our Libertarian Party of Texas platform currently only mentions medical marijuana. I had a petition ready to which I’d heard no opposition to change the platform to support full legalization, but we ran out of time during the convention to get it done. In November, please support our Libertarian candidates!

  2. April 15, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Just a quick thought. I understand let the chips fall where they may but it seams to me with two strong Cannabis candidates in Palmquist and KInky for Ag, Commissioner that the cannabis vote will be split. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure what that means. It would have been a great message to send to the powers that be that a candidate could win on a cannabis vote.

  3. Tom Rowan
    October 6, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Medical pot is fine…..but legalization of pot for recreational use is just plain CRAZY! {And dangerous}!

  4. […] in Temple where they held their nominating convention for statewide candidates. They would end up nominating a full slate of candidates who publicly endorsed reforming marijuana […]