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Dallas marijuana meeting a lively event

Marijuana activists came together in Dallas this weekend to share some personal stories and make for a welcoming atmosphere.

The Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (DFW NORML) held their monthly meeting at the Sundown at Granada, which featured a man fighting for his life, people stepping out of their comfort zones, passionate speeches, and a little ukulele music. The meeting was live streamed as well.

Michael Rains has to constantly undergo dialysis treatment and suffers from severe seizures, often so terrible that he wakes up afterwards in intensive care or the emergency room. He is also terminally ill.

Michael Rains (Photo by Stephen Carter)
Michael Rains (Photo by Stephen Carter)

He took the time to drive two hours to the meeting to share his story, risking arrest just to get there.

Rains has active warrants for his arrest due to his medical marijuana consumption.

He has spoken at several other events, and also took the time to visit with legislators at the capitol during the 2015 legislative session. During that time, he skipped a dialysis treatment just to speak at a committee hearing. He spoke to them about medical marijuana, asking them “what if it were your children who had to watch you endure a grand mal seizure, being able to do nothing but throw pillows around you as you seize in the middle of the floor in an attempt to make sure you don’t hurt yourself during the violent convulsions?”

Texas Cannabis Report founder Stephen Carter also spoke at the meeting about the need to get involved with organizations such as NORML.

Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018
Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018

“Helping others is one of the greatest things you can do, and that’s what activism is about,” he stated. He also urged people to dig down and contribute in whatever ways possible and that the results of dedicated activism have shown brightly this year as pressure mounted on politicians to change the laws. “Organizations such as DFW NORML are exceptional, and they’re exceptional because of each and every one of you.”

DFW NORML Executive Director Shaun McAlister briefly touched on the political session, saying that it was a success because now Texas is officially a medical marijuana state, even though the new law will help very few people. He says the biggest success was in getting Texas legislators to admit that marijuana has medical properties.

DFW NORML Executive Director Shaun McAlister (Photo by Stephen Carter)
DFW NORML Executive Director Shaun McAlister (Photo by Stephen Carter)

Caroline Turner helped set the mood by giving a passionate speech about what she has overcome to be where she is now. Turner originally was “just a 19 year old face in the crowd” but is now the director of Denton NORML.

“Everyone involved with DFW NORML, even the board members, started by coming to an event. When I first started coming to DFW NORML events, I was suffering with debilitating anxiety. I can quite certainly say that going to those events changed my life. I was very welcome from the start and members were always looking out to make sure I was okay, especially if they knew about my condition. We understand the nervousness of not only being in large groups of people, but also regarding a topic that is illegal and sometimes taboo. It’s because we’ve all been there. It would be wrong of us to not empathize with those people and I think the crowd at the events do it well.”

Denton NORML Director Caroline Turner (Photo by Stephen Carter)
Denton NORML Director Caroline Turner (Photo by Stephen Carter)

Rounding out an already positive meeting on a high note, DFW NORML board member Steve Williams brought out his ukulele and performed “Prohibition Blues” with the help of a group of volunteer singers.

Steve Williams and a band of volunteers sing "Prohibition Blues" (Photo by Stephen Carter)
Steve Williams and a band of volunteers sing “Prohibition Blues” (Photo by Stephen Carter)

DFW NORML’s next meeting is slated for Saturday, September 26 at Ozzie Rabbit Lounge in Fort Worth. Before that though, the group will hold a video game tournament, and a trash cleanup for their adopted street.

The group also plans to hold a Dallas rally for marijuana in October where thousands are expected to attend.

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a journalist and information technology specialist living in Waco, Texas. 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 Comment

  1. Michael Rains
    August 31, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    good job, and thank you for all you have , and continue to do , in the advancement of our cause. I am proud of you as a person, for being willing to stand, and help others be heard, and informed! Thank you! M. Rains