Golf, political guides, and more fill spring agenda for Austin marijuana organization
Spring is shaping up to be a busy time for the Austin based marijuana non-profit organization Texas NORML.
The group is schedule to take part in at least 12 events through May, including a golf fundraiser and rally. They’re also compiling the first ever marijuana voter guide for the Texas primaries. In the past they have only put a guide together for the general election.
Roughly 15 people have worked together to make the voter guide possible, which will provide Texans with the opportunity to know how various candidates responded to questions about marijuana, whether it be penalty reductions, legalization, or medical marijuana. In all it will take more than 60 hours to complete the project, and it’s expected to be out the first week of February.
We asked about their focus on the primaries this year, and their Executive Director Jax Finkel was happy to explain.
“As you well know, many of the districts in Texas are gerrymandered. This means that in many of the districts we know in advanced who the likely winning party is. This means that the Primaries are where the real competition is for most races. This is why expanding the Voter Guide to include the Primaries is so important. It enables Primary Voters to look at the candidates responses and voting record to help with their decision making. There is usually low voter turn out for Primaries but that means that a few votes can really make a difference in races.”
What about registering voters though?
“We have several Deputy Registrars that attend each of our events to be able to sign people up to vote. We have created several graphics that we are sharing through social media to make sure people know the deadline to register and how. I am attempting to also work with the local NAACP to register voters. As time passes, we hope to come up with even more ways to promote it!”
The deadline to register to vote for the primaries is February 1, and the primaries will be held on March 1, with early voting beginning February 16. A voter may choose to vote in either primary, but not both, and will decide the day they go to vote.
The group plans to hold their third annual Puff-N-Putt event at Willie Nelson’s golf course as well, and will include both a golf and disc golf tournament, vendors, food, and live music.
“Puff N’ Putt started as a Benefit to help us raise funds for our first ever Veterans Conference. It has since expanded to raise funds for Texas NORML’s mission to gain safe access to cannabis for adults with a focus on supporting Texas Veterans and their fight in the war to re-legalize cannabis.”
She adds, “This event is a benefit but with a focus on having fun in a friendly environment. I mean who doesn’t love hanging out at Willie’s!? Cannabis enthusiasts and activists will be attending so it is a great opportunity for those in the burgeoning industry to be involved. It also is a great venue for education. If you are attending at the General Admission level you will receive access to all vendors, disc golf and live music. Golfers will receive access to a round of golf, a goodie bag, a meal voucher, access to hospitality areas, access to all vendors, disc golf and live music. Sponsoring is a great opportunity to get your name out there and to have a presence at the event. We have a variety of sponsorship levels for people to select from with the full description of what you get for each level”
Last year the group lost a beloved member who had been their patient advocate, Vincent Lopez, who suffered from Becker muscular dystrophy. At the end of April they’ll be raising funds for research into the disease on behalf of Lopez at the 2016 Muscular Dystophy Association “Muscle Walk” with their athletic organization, Team Home through Cannabis (THC).
“We hope to get a big group out to show love for Vincent. He is very missed.”
Then in May they’ll be holding their 9th Texas Marijuana March at the state capitol building in Austin. More details on that are soon to come.