8 Texas cities will hold global marijuana marches
There will be 8 cities across Texas participating in the 2017 Global Marijuana March, an annual world-wide event which draws several hundred thousand participants.
These events all go by various names, formats, and even days that they occur on, but one thing is constant in that people from all over come together to celebrate the culture of the cannabis plant and advocate for changes to the law.
The grand majority of the marches occur on the first Saturday in May. This year there are six marches occurring on May 6 in Texas.
In the past few years, the Marijuana March of North Texas has been the largest gathering in the state, drawing several thousand participants to the Fort Worth event, which is put on by the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (DFW NORML).
This year should be no different as the non-profit organization had two donors rent a billboard along I-35 to promote the event. Organizers estimate that it will create 2.5 million impressions, and generate the largest crowd the group has ever seen.
The day will begin a with a free to attend festival at Burk Burnett Park starting at noon, capped off with a march through the streets of downtown Fort Worth to the Tarrant County Courthouse where they will rally on the steps as they have done in previous years.
DFW NORML’s event features live music, speakers, vendor booths, and food.
Moving up into the panhandle, Amarillo will have a marijuana march that day as well, put on by Amarillo Cannabis Culture NORML.
The group plans to rally at Amarillo City Hall beginning at 3:00 pm. They have released a statement about their event, saying “Keep it legal, your voices can’t be heard in jail.”
Out in far west Texas, El Paso NORML is setting the stage for their fourth annual march.
People from El Paso and the surrounding communities will meet at 6018 N. Mesa St. at 11:00 am before marching to H.T. Ponsford Park where a pot-luck BBQ will be held.
San Antonio NORML will be holding their third annual march on Saturday as well.
The group will meet at 2:30 pm at Sabinas Coffee House and the event is scheduled to conclude at 10:00 pm. More details will be available in the near future.
Down in southeast Texas, Houston NORML’s festival and marijuana march is being held in celebration of their county’s new pre-trial diversion program which effectively stops the arrests of those in possession of four ounces or less if they qualify for the program.
The group will be hosting a free, family-friendly, all-day festival from 11:00 am until 8:00 pm at Herman Square Park which includes live music, a DJ, vendors, food trucks, and guest speakers.
“We will celebrate the recent pre-charge diversion program initiated by Kim Ogg, Harris County district attorney, and bring awareness to House Bill 81, Senate Bill 269, and House Bill 2107 currently in Austin as we march through the streets of downtown Houston,” the organization stated in a press release.
They add that “We do not advocate the breaking of any laws, only the reform of unjust marijuana related laws.” There is also a city ordinance prohibiting smoking, pets, and glass containers at the event.
A little further south NORML Corpus Christi will be holding their third annual march at McCaughan Park.
The event kicks off at 3:00 pm and concludes at 5:00 pm, and will be followed by an after-party at Water Street Village with music by Arcade Hustlers.
On Sunday, May 7 Lubbock will hold their march from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
Hosted by Hub City NORML, the group says that they will start at the northeast corner of 18th & Ave Q, and march down Ave Q to Broadway, before turning right onto Broadway, and ending at the Lubbock County Courthouse.
Wrapping it all up is a march the following Saturday on May 13 in Austin put on by Texas NORML.
Their tenth annual march will have participants gather at Austin City Hall beginning at noon. At 12:40 pm they will then march down Congress Ave. and up to the state capitol building’s south steps where a rally will be held at 1:15 pm. Other events are scheduled around the march at both City Hall and the Capitol, and event organizers are asking that attendees be punctual.
Patients will lead the march with a banner. Any patients unable to participate in the march are encouraged to meet at the south steps. Veterans are encouraged to wear hats, shirts, or ribbons identifying their military service and dedication.
It is also advised that attendees bring an umbrella for shade or protection from any potential rain. Both water and signs will be provided, though they encourage people to bring their own signs as well.
Jax Finkel, Executive Director of Texas NORML, says that given this is a legislative session year for Texas, it is critical that those in support of cannabis law reform make a strong showing at the state capital.
“With critical hearings happening at the Capitol and our bills advancing through committees, now more than ever your voice is needed at the Capitol building,” she states. “We are making history in Texas, come be a part of it!”
There will be an after-party announced in the near future.
A total of 20 bills pertaining to cannabis have been filed this year. Most notable are HB 81 which makes possession of an ounce or less of marijuana a $250 civil fine, HB 2107 which expands the Texas Compassionate Use Program to include whole plant cannabis and a number of other patients, HB 2200 which gives patients and caregivers an affirmative defense in court, and HB 3587 which legalizes hemp growing for farmers and researchers with a permit.
*Edit: San Antonio has now been included, bringing the total cities from 7 to 8.