700 march in Dallas for marijuana reform, two arrested
For the second year in a row, Texans flooded the streets of Dallas to support changing marijuana laws today. However the event struck a very different chord from the previous year.
Topping out at about 700 attendees, the non-profit group DFW NORML hosted a brief rally at John F. Kennedy memorial before marching to Dealey Plaza. The group was unable to obtain permits for a full event, which drew around 2,000 attendees in 2014, due to city officials dragging their feet. Because of that, this year their focus was on holding a first amendment rally.
Officials with the organization warned that officers would be on the lookout for those openly consuming marijuana this year, and while many still showed and smoked openly in protest, two individuals were arrested.
The two were reportedly using a large glass smoking device near officers, and both were taken into custody and transported to jail. This marks the first time anyone has been arrested at a DFW NORML event.
Another man, Marshall Williams, who works with Denton NORML, was also detained by an officer. The officer stated that his e-cig smelled like marijuana, though after Williams went through a back and forth with the officer, making his case that it only contained nicotine and smelled instead like strawberries, the officer let him go. Williams says that he does not consume cannabis.
At previous marches held by DFW NORML, traditional media had been nowhere to be found, however this year several news organizations made it out to cover the event.
A lineup of diverse speakers were featured, including teachers, patients, veterans, and one well known individual who obtained fame last year after quitting her job as a reporter on live TV, Charlo Greene.
Also at Dealey Plaza were a small group of Palestinian protesters, who said that while they support the right for people to choose to consume marijuana, they were unaware that a cannabis rally was going to take place.
Recent polling shows that roughly 75 percent of Texans support decreasing the penalty for marijuana possession, while about 46 percent say they would like to see the non-toxic plant outright legalized.