Texans hold prayer vigil at state capitol for marijuana
A prayer vigil for marijuana was held in Austin on Saturday following the Texas NORML marijuana march and rally at the capitol.
About 20 people joined together as Rev. John Elford of University United Methodist Church in Austin led a prayer blessing various aspects and people in the cannabis movement across Texas.
He spoke of his church and their number one rule, which is to do no harm. Elford stated that to deny people in need of medical cannabis goes against the rule of do no harm.
The event was organized the day of the rally by Rick Womack, who says that he is not religious, but believes in God.
“A number of my friends and fellow cannabis activists have expressed frustration about feeling unheard at the recent Criminal Jurisprudence and Public Health committee hearings,” he stated. “A few of us discussed the need for them to better hear these heartfelt testimonies, and I guess the concerns led someone to suggest, ‘let’s do something, lets pray!'”
Womack added, “given the fact Rep. Simpson is leading our charge to reform it made perfect sense. Amy Lou and Thalia of MAMMA are two Christians who have inspired many to see faith has a place in this movement and it’s right on the front lines of this battle for reform.”
Representative David Simpson, a Republican from east Texas, submitted House Bill 2165 earlier this year which would remove all penalties for marijuana. It recently passed out of committee on a 5-1 vote. Simpson has often been quoted as saying “God did not make a mistake with marijuana.” He says he submitted the bill out of concern for his constituents, many of which who have a medical need for the plant.
Amy Lou Fawell and Thalia Michelle founded Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism (MAMMA) as a support group for parents who have children with special needs. Both women have sons who have been diagnosed with autism, and after much research, they both concluded that medical cannabis could be a beneficial treatment.
Next year Womack hopes to put in more planning and hold a larger prayer vigil.
11 bills relating to marijuana have been introduced in the Texas legislative session this year. A recent Texas Tribune poll shows 76 percent of Texans want to change marijuana laws in the state, whether it be through penalty reductions, medical cannabis, or full legalization.
Listen to the interview with both Fawell and Michelle below from after the event.
By: Stephen Carter
Email Texas Cannabis Report at Contact@txcann.com