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Patients, activists hope Texas’ future filled with greener pastures after marijuana conference

Photo courteous of DFW NORML
Photo courteous of DFW NORML

More than 175 people attended the second annual Texas Regional NORML Conference in Fort Worth, Texas earlier this month.

The conference was hosted by the Dallas-Fort Worth National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (DFW NORML) chapter at the Norris Conference Center on June 7-8 to further educate activists about the issues surrounding cannabis and how Texas could benefit from legalizing marijuana.

Former Texas gubernatorial and Agricultural Commissioner candidate Kinky Friedman, a Texas country music legend, spoke on the first day of the conference about his father and the need for everyone to “always have a hero”.

“Never take a day off,” Friedman said.

The “Princess of Pot” Jodie Emery, who is from Canada and the wife of Marc Emery, spoke Sunday on the human cost of prohibition, urging the crowd to “plant seeds of freedom to overgrow the government.”

Marc was jailed in 2010 for selling cannabis seeds to U.S. citizens, in which all profits were given back to political candidates and anyone who contributed toward the “legalization movement.” Emery is slated for release in July of 2014.

Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP) founder Ann Lee urged Texas Republicans to understand that legalization will help Texas based on both economic and social factors. Lee also spoke earlier in the weekend at the Texas Republican Party Convention, which was also held in Fort Worth, bringing Republicans to tears with her story of how cannabis saved her son’s life.

“Prohibition is the worst we have done to our country since Jim Crow,” Lee stated.

Mike Hyde, founder of the Cash Hyde Foundation, which provides Reggae Runners to hospitals in order to promote activism for children’s pediatric cancer, empowered the crowd by reading the Declaration of Independence. Hyde’s son Cash died of brain cancer November 4, 2012 after Cash’s medical cannabis was confiscated.

“We need to demand our equal rights, no man can take that from us,” Hyde said.

Cannabis patients spoke out about the “life-saving medicine” that is marijuana, and how it specifically helps each patient.

Cody Guy, a survivor of brain cancer, informed the crowd of the federal government’s patent on marijuana, entitled “Phytocannabinoids in the treatment of cancer.”

Phytocannabinoids are the cannabinoids which occur naturally both in the cannabis plant and in our bodies. The patent states that phytocannabinoids kill cancerous cells and goes on to explain how to create cannabis oil with a six percent Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to Cannabidiol (CBD) mixture.

“We fight for our freedoms everyday with diseases and disabilities,” said cannabis patient Vincent Lopez, who suffers from Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy, which has left him bound to a wheelchair. Lopez is also the founder of The Austin420 magazine, a monthly publication based out of Austin, Texas.

The day concluded with a panel consisting of the executive directors from across the state talking about their own ideas for furthering drug policy legislation and reform in Texas.

By: Allison Nash, DFW NORML’s Journalist Intern

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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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