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Local candidates talk marijuana at Arlington sports bar

Photo courteous of DFW NORML
Photo courteous of DFW NORML

Over 150 people packed it in to hear local candidates talk about marijuana and more this past weekend in Arlington.

Three political candidates from two different parties in Texas spoke to those attending the Dallas-Fort Worth National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (DFW NORML) meeting on Saturday at The House Sports Bar and Grill.

Democratic Party candidate Mark Greene, who is running for the U.S. House District 12 seat, urged the crowd to get involved and vote.

“The drug war has torn apart families and cost the country billions of dollars in law enforcement and lost tax revenue,” Greene said. “It’s time to end the drug war.”

John Tunmire, the Libertarian Party candidate for Texas Senate District 10, informed members that you don’t have to only vote Republican or Democrat.

“We will need to fight for our constitutional rights by voting,” Tunmire stated. “We will be ignored by the media because they do not believe people will vote except along party lines.”

Robert Harris, also a Libertarian candidate in the running for Texas House of Representatives District 94, spoke to members about how not voting gives consent for the government to do whatever it wants.

“If you have brought no harm to another individual, you have not damaged their property, and you have not stolen from them, you have committed no crime,” stated Harris.

Dean Bortell and his eight-year-old daughter Alexis asked for Texas’ help so they didn’t’ have to be “marijuana refugees” in Colorado for too long. Alexis lives with genetic (Focal) epilepsy.

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

“Texas is our home, but right now Colorado is the only state that is giving my daughter the help she needs,” Bortell said as he held up Alexis’ legal medical marijuana certificate. “I can proudly say Alexis is the first legal medical marijuana patient in the Bortell family.”

DFW NORML founder and director of the DFW NORML Women’s Alliance, Elizabeth Rodriguez informed the crowd of some female incarceration statistics.

“Since 1980, there has been an 800 percent increase in the incarceration for women,” Rodriguez said. “77 percent of the women in prison were the sole-provider for the family.”

The meeting concluded with a raffle, in which members could pay $1 per ticket for a chance to win a Rastafarian-themed flag donated by Rising Sun Reggae in Arlington.

DFW NORML is in the process of searching for elected officials and other candidates to speak at an upcoming meeting, especially Republicans. Those interested may contact Tristan Tucker at Tristan@dfwnorml.org for more information.

The group holds an event at The House Sports Bar and Grill every Wednesday for those interested in learning more about the non-profit’s efforts to change marijuana laws in Texas.

By: Allison Nash

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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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