DFW NORML Interviews Rebelution at the Palladium Ballroom

On February 24th, Eric Rachmany, Rory Carey, Wesley Finley & Marley D. Williams from Rebelution sat down with DFW NORML for an interview about marijuana, activism and music. All of the guys as well as the Palladium Ballroom staff were friendly, humble and very supportive of the cause. In fact, Eric was so excited about the interview that he decided to wear his new DFW NORML t-shirt on stage during the show.

The interview video will be posted soon as will more photos from this amazing night, but for now here’s a little taste of what’s to come. Special thanks to White Frame Productions for providing photo support throughout the evening.

Teaser photos from DFW NORML’s interview with Rebelution:

420

DFW NORML Action Alert: HB 184 Needs Your Support!

Last Tuesday in the Texas legislature, an important piece of legislation – HB 184 – was introduced and referred to the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee of your Texas House of Representatives. Once in committee, committee members either do nothing (the bill dies) or they refer the bill for consideration by the full house. HB 184 seeks to reduce penalties In Texas for minor possession of marijuana; and is a step toward legalization.

Ironically, with the majority of Texans supporting the legalization of marijuana, many of our representatives are afraid to vote FOR this type of legislation because they don’t feel their constituents support such measures. It is up to US, their CONSTITUENTS, to let our leaders know how we feel! Write a letter, make a phone call, send an e-mail, post on their Facebook timeline or tweet! – especially if one of these committee members is your own representative!

So, who sits on the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee in control of the fate of HB 184? Check the list below. Then get busy and make your voice heard!

Abel Herrero, Chairman – District 34 – Hidalgo Co (part)
E-Mail: Abel.Herrero@house.state.tx.us
Twitter: @abelherrero
Phone: (512) 463-0462
Facebook: Abel Herrero
Other Info: http://www.texastribune.org/directory/abel-herrero/

Stefani Carter , Vice Chair – District 102  – Dallas Co (part)
E-Mail: stefani.carter@house.state.tx.us
Twitter: @stefani_carter
Phone: (512) 463-0454
Other Info: http://www.texastribune.org/directory/stefani-carter/

Lon Burnam  – District 90 – Tarrant Co. (part)
E-Mail: lon.burnam@house.state.tx.us
Twitter: @LonBurnam
Phone: (512) 463-0740
Other Info: http://www.texastribune.org/directory/lon-burnam/

Terry Canales – District 40 – Hidalgo Co (part)
E-Mail: Terry.Canales@house.state.tx.us
Twitter: @TerryCanales40
Phone: (512) 463-0426
Other Info: http://www.texastribune.org/directory/terry-canales/

Bryan Hughes – District 5 – Camp, Morris, Rains, Smith (part), Titus Wood Cos.
E-Mail: bryan.hughes@house.state.tx.us
Twitter: @RepHughes
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BryanHughesTX
Phone: (512) 463-0271
Other Info: http://www.texastribune.org/directory/bryan-hughes/

Jeff Leach – District 67 – Collin Co (part)
E-Mail: Jeff.Leach@house.state.tx.us
Twitter: @leachfortexas
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leachfortexas
Phone: (512) 463-0544
Other Info: http://www.texastribune.org/directory/jeff-leach/

Joe Moody – District 78 – El Paso Co (part)
E-Mail: Joe.Moody@house.state.tx.us
Twitter: @moodyforelpaso
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/moodyforelpaso
Phone: (512) 463-0728
Other Info: http://www.texastribune.org/directory/joseph-moody/

Matt Schaefer – District 6 – Smith Co (part)
E-Mail:   Matt.Schaefer@house.state.tx.us
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MattForTexas
Phone: (512) 463-0584
Other Info: http://www.texastribune.org/directory/matt-schaefer/

Steve Toth – District 15 – Montgomery Co (part)
E-Mail: Steve.Toth@house.state.tx.us
Twitter: @Toth_4_Texas
Phone: (512) 463-0797
Other Info: http://www.texastribune.org/directory/steve-toth/

Don’t know who your representatives are? Find out! Enter your address for a complete listing of who represents you in Washington as well as here at home in Texas: http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Address.aspx

Don’t let HB 184 die in committee! Do you part!

Many of these representatives are on Twitter, so send them a tweet and include the hashtag #HB184. Here’s a sample tweet for you:

Howdy @TerryCanales40! Texans are ready to reduce the harms of #cannabis #prohibition. We demand you support #HB184! @dfwnorml

Call them. Leave messages on Facebook. Tweet at them or send a pre-written email by using this link: http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=62316351

We’ve compiled this information to help make your voice heard. It’s up to us to let the politicians know that this is what the people want make a commitment to contact your representative and together we’ll continue ending cannabis prohibition one Texan at a time.

January 2013 Meeting Video Recap

On January 26th we held our first meeting of 2013 at Bamboo Pho & Springroll in Arlington, Texas.

More than 100 people showed up including members, sponsors and newcomers to NORML. We raised more than $200 for the chapter, recognized some outstanding volunteers, discussed plans for the year, raffled off a Magical Butter appliance and more. Our 90 minute meeting has been consolidated to this 12 minute video.

* * *

Enjoy the video recap? Like what’re doing as an organization? Support marijuana legalization? Consider making a donation to DFW NORML by purchasing something from our online store and together we’ll continue ending cannabis prohibition one Texan at a time: http://dfwnorml.myshopify.com/

* * *

DFW Norml Interviews Waka Flocka Flame

During DFW Norml’s recent backstage chat with Waka Flocka Flame, the Atlanta hip hop artist and animal rights advocate confirmed that you can have too much of a good thing. Flame warns fans about the ass-kicking potential of what he calls “the edibles,” or ingestible cannabis products like brownies, candy, and cookies. One brownie laid out the veteran herb enthusiast for, like, two days. “Man, I was high for no reason,” laughs Flame about his marathon cloud ride. “I woke up the next morning and thought, ‘How the f**k am I still high?'”

While on tour supporting his 2012 album Triple F Life: Friends, Fans and Family, the artist doesn’t have to search too hard for supplies. Sorta like Elvis used to get pelted with panties and hotel room keys when he performed, fans throw blunts and half ounces onstage during his shows. But again, Flame advises moderation and common sense, especially to fans still living under cannabis prohibition in 48 of the fifty states. “People shouldn’t keep their marijuana use a secret,” he said, but “there are certain occasions when you don’t want to walk in smelling like a pound.” A Waka Flocka Flame show is not one of those occasions, by the way.

Special thanks to House of Blues, Doobi.us and PVM Entertainment for making this interview possible.

Asking Your Legislator to Support Marijuana Legalization

Last week I visited my Texas Senator’s office to talk about the importance of marijuana legalization for the health and safety of our community. I had never been to my legislator’s office before. Unsure of exactly what would transpire at our meeting, I was a little afraid I would be badgered, ridiculed, or accused. But that didn’t happen. My Senator’s staff was interested and attentive, and her District Director discussed my concerns with me for nearly half an hour.

If you have never been to visit your local Senator or State Representative’s office, you are not alone. Most people haven’t. Hardly anybody even votes anymore. Only 9% of voters participate in the Texas primaries on average, and this election determines the candidates that will eventually run and take office. I have called myself an activist for nearly 8 years and I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but it has taken me this long to do one of the most effective and powerful things that a marijuana legalization activist can do: visit my legislator in person and ask how she feels about marijuana legalization.

Senator Wendy Davis’s office is located in a new building at the trendy heart of West 7th near downtown Fort Worth. Her office itself is small and unassuming. You might miss it as you step off the elevator, tucked away in a corner on the third floor with nothing more than a plaque on the wall announcing the office of an elected state official.

Inside, a staff member led me into a small conference room with a view of Trinity Park in front of the downtown skyline. I waited, straightening the stacks of literature I had brought with me. A couple months ago, Texas NORML offered bound color copies of an educational packet the group created to constituents who were willing to visit their elected officials and ask them to support legalization. The packet sums up the best reasons why marijuana should be legalized, for the reasons of medicinal use, responsible adult use, and as industrial hemp. Educated voters have been distributing these packets to their Senators and Representatives who are now currently meeting in a session that occurs only once every two years. To actually affect change in Texas marijuana laws, it is imperative that voters visit their legislators.

The Texas constitution does not allow for ballot initiatives, which is how Washington and Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012. The only way laws get passed in Texas is through our elected representatives. How else are they supposed to know what their constituents want if we don’t sit down face to face and tell them? A phone call is effective too, an email a little less so, but the best way to communicate with your legislator is by sitting down in front of them.

My experience with District Director Charles Boswell was positive. He listened to my concerns, and he took notes and asked questions. He was sympathetic. He shared the story of an acquaintance whose son had terminal cancer, and who wanted to use marijuana to ease his suffering, but was afraid of going through a shady drug dealer to get it. He was interested in the statistics I presented about the growing percentage of Texans who support legalization, and about just how much money we were wasting by locking up adults simply for possession.

I asked him to ask the Senator if she would be interested in sponsoring a senate version of HB 594, which Representative Eliot Naishtat recently introduced in the House. The bill would allow medical marijuana patients who had been arrested a medical defense in court, and which would provide protection to doctors to discuss marijuana use with patients. I will call back to the office this week to follow up on the results of my visit.

Because I prepared in a few simple ways, visiting my state Senator’s office was a great experience. I was allowed to articulate my concerns and I certainly wasn’t treated like a criminal. Here are the important things to do to make sure your visit goes just as well:

1)Make an appointment.

I called my senator’s office, identified myself as a voter, and said that I would like to make an appointment to talk about marijuana legalization. While it’s unlikely you will be able to meet directly with your representative, it should be fairly easy to set up a time to come in and speak with a staff member. I did it on my lunch break on a work day.

2)Research your legislator.

A quick search will tell you what issues your representative feels strongly about and positions they have taken in the past. Look for ways to relate your issue to something your legislator cares about. One of Senator Davis’s priorities is education. In 2011, she launched a filibuster to fight $4 billion in proposed school budget cuts (which were eventually approved). I made sure to highlight the millions of dollars in funds we could save by decriminalization, and the potential for bringing in additional money with marijuana’s taxation. If your legislator is big on border security, bring up the subject of Mexican border violence and how eliminating marijuana as a profit for the cartels would decrease the deadly violence that is going on right in our backyard.

3)Choose a few main points to master.

You don’t have to memorize every fact about marijuana and the history of its prohibition to have an effective conversation about why it should be legalized. Just focus on a few main points and solidify your knowledge in those areas. The educational material provided by NORML makes it easy to do this. Pick out the facts that interest you most, or that you might already be familiar with, and talk about those. Make a short list of bullet points to help remind you. There are so many valid reasons why marijuana should be legalized. Don’t get caught up trying to learn every single one of them. Just be sure of yourself in a few key areas.

4)Follow up.

This week, I’ll send an email to Mr. Boswell and ask him what Senator Davis thought about the information I presented. I’ll ask him if she had any questions, and I’ll ask him if she is willing to sponsor a senate version of Representative Naishtat’s medical defense bill.

To legalize marijuana in Texas, it is going to take each and every one of us to make an appointment with our elected officials and ask them to end marijuana prohibition. Our legislators are not going to support legislation unless they understand that it’s something most voters want. And they do—76% of Texans think medical marijuana should be legalized. That is a huge majority. But until more voters show up in their legislators’ offices, our lawmakers will not be convinced.

Enter your address here http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.asp to find out who your state legislators are. Call their offices and set up an appointment. You can email Leah@texasnorml.org for more information about obtaining an educational packet.

If you are interested in visiting with your lawmaker in person, on Tuesday, February 26, Texas NORML is sponsoring a lobby day in Austin. You can meet up with a bunch of other Texas activists, and volunteers will help you find your lawmaker’s office at the capitol so you can deliver educational information in person.