How to Talk to Your Representatives About Marijuana in Texas

In Texas, the only way to pass laws is through the state legislature. If you want to legalize marijuana, you have to contact your elected officials and ask them to support marijuana law reform. Here are a few ways you can do that effectively.

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Who Represents Me?
Along with our U.S. Congressman and Senators, every Texan has a state Representative and a state Senator based on what district they live in. Find out who represents you by entering your address here: http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

The website of the Texas Legislature lists the contact information for your lawmakers, for both their local and their Capitol offices. When the legislature is in session, which occurs every two years, you should contact your elected officials at the Capitol. The rest of the time, they should be available to see you at their home office.

How Do I Contact My Representative?
There are several beneficial ways to contact your lawmakers. You can send a form email, when can be found on the website for Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy here: http://texasmarijuanapolicy.org/take-action

You can also personalize an email, or send a handwritten letter. Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy also has some factual talking points to help make your argument.

You can also pick up the phone and call your lawmaker’s office. Since the 2015 session begins on January 13, you should call them at the Capitol. Tell the staffer who answers the phone that you support HB 507, a bill that was recently introduced by Representative Joe Moody from El Paso. This bill would change the penalty for marijuana possession by adults. Individuals would no longer be jailed for possession of an ounce or less. They would not be arrested or receive a criminal record, and would instead face a fine of up to $100.

The staffer will make a record of everyone who calls to support of that bill, and your opinion in favor of HB 507 will be counted along with everyone else who calls in. However, if you want to make the biggest impact on your lawmakers, you should visit them in person. An in person visit to a representative sounds intimidating at first. Many people fear outing themselves as a marijuana consumer, and are worried about the kind of attention that might bring. Some people are afraid that they will be put on the spot, and forced to go on the defensive and answer tricky questions about legalization. But, that is simply not the case. No activist I’ve ever known who has visited their elected officials has ever faced any negative legal backlash from it. And if you think that you don’t know enough to answer questions about marijuana, don’t worry! We have plenty of educational material, and people who will help you learn it and get comfortable with it, so when you talk to your representative, you are confident, knowledgeable, and effective in delivering the message of legalization.

Additionally you could ask for the representatives to support a “whole plant medical marijuana bill” that is currently circulating the halls of the Capitol and seeking a sponsor. If we are able to find a Republican to sponsor this bill, it would be a huge victory for Texas patients.

How Should I Prepare to Meet My Elected Officials?
You will have several chances to meet with them during the 2015 session, and you will not have to do it alone! DFW NORML has joined forces with Texas NORML and other grassroots legalization groups to put our resources together and make sure as many people as possible are able to visit their lawmakers and talk about marijuana law reform.

On February 18, the Citizen Lobby Day hosted by Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy is open to everyone. You must RSVP for their event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/388055224694995/

What Else Do I Need to Know?
The most important thing you should remember when contacting your elected officials is to be respectful. You should never get angry or emotional. Always speak politely, and do not badger or accuse. If your lawmaker has questions or concerns about legalization that you cannot answer, write down their question and make sure you find out the answer to it as soon as possible.

When you visit you lawmakers in person, you should dress as if you are going to a job interview. You should be clean and your hair should look neat. If you do not have clothes that you could wear to a job interview, we can help you locate clothes that you can borrow. Make it personal. If you are a patient who could benefit from medical marijuana, explain that to your representative, and present studies that show its healing benefits. Present yourself as a concerned parent, a business owner, a student, or whoever you are. That will help you make a connection.

Our goal is to change the laws here in Texas. The number one thing you can do to help achieve that goal is to talk to your elected officials. Still don’t know what to say? Here’s a short video by DFW NORML Executive Director Shaun McAlister that shows you exactly how to do it.

TALKING TO YOUR REPS

TALKING ABOUT HB507

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January 2014 Meeting Recap

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If there was any question about the amount of support in Texas for marijuana legalization, it was answered by the record turnout at DFW NORML’s first meeting of 2014. There was standing room only at the Whiskey Girl Saloon in Fort Worth as over 200 people filled the bar to learn more about efforts to change marijuana laws here in Texas.

The amount of support DFW NORML is getting is not surprising. A recent poll showed that 58% of Texas voters supported taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol. Media focus on Colorado and Washington’s recent successful marijuana legalization is making a lot of Texans wonder when Texas will go green. The message put forth at the meeting this weekend was clear. If you want marijuana legal in Texas, you have to talk about it-to your friends, family members, colleagues, and most importantly, your elected officials.

As usual, this month’s meeting featured a diverse selection of speakers and attendees, as well as sponsors of DFW NORML whose support is crucial to our growth and progress. Elaine Burn of Groovy Goods has been a longtime supporter of DFW NORML, and this weekend Thomas Barrington of Lucky Horseshoe Tattoo announced his excitement to be working with DFW NORML as well. Both Groovy Goods and Lucky Horseshoe offer discounts to DFW NORML members. We also heard testimony from Modified Models’ Katie Hurley, and young boxer Hector Miguel Orono, Jr., about the positive effects cannabis has had on their lives.

The January meeting was also time for elections to the Board of Directors. The only contested position was that of Deputy Director, and the nominees were Will Jenkins, Tristan Tucker, and Elisabeth Rodriguez. Votes will be tallied shortly and an announcement will be made once the winner of this election is determined.

The newly elected positions are as follows:

Director of Finance is Larry Tally
Secretary is Andrea Brown
Director of Operations is Callie Dee
Public Information Officer is David Sloane
Director of Marketing is Nick Carpenter
Compliance Officer is Leslie Burgoyne

The 2014 Board represents years of experience in the marijuana legalization effort, and brings diverse backgrounds and strong leadership skills to this organization.

Our next events are For the Love of Hemp Hop, a Valentine’s Day Hip Hop benefit show at Club Dada in Dallas, and our second Lobbyist Training Day on February 15 in Fort Worth. Our benefit concerts are crucial to brining in the funds that are required to keep this political movement running, and our free activist training sessions are open to the public and the best way to find out how you can actually make a difference and bring about legalization in Texas.

Recap from MATV’s 2014 Texas Drug Policy Conference

At the Mothers Against Teen Violence 2014 Texas Drug Policy Conference this weekend, speakers from a wide variety of backgrounds and areas of expertise converged in Dallas to discuss the failed war on drugs. DFW NORML board member Larry Talley and Texas NORML Executive Director Cheyanne Weldon spoke at the conference, and NORML volunteers staffed an informational table at the event. Presenters spoke on a wide variety of topics including the myths and misinformation fueling prohibition, how the drug war enables powerful drug cartels and horrific for-profit prisons, and efforts to pass harm reduction and marijuana legalization legislation in Texas.

The theme of this year’s event was “Building a Movement,” and many diverse groups and interests were represented. Law enforcement was present both as event attendees and as speakers. The movement to end drug prohibition has made great strides in Texas and across the country, and the momentum is still growing.

A common theme among conference presenters was the necessity of voters to contact their elected officials and ask them to change the laws. Keynote speaker and neuroscientist Dr. Carl Hart said that people have to put pressure on politicians. Dallas County Chair of the Democratic Party Darlene Ewing suggested writing your representative a personal handwritten note, or better yet, meeting with them in person to discuss legalization at their offices or at town hall meetings.

Lobbyist Noelle Davis, who has been working with the Texas legislature for the past decade, reported that the 2013 83rd legislative session had been the most successful yet for activists. At a committee hearing for the medical marijuana bill, patients gave hours of compelling testimony and lawmakers engaged and asked relevant questions. Legislators are finally beginning to take cannabis seriously, and now is the time to form relationships with them and educate them.

Cheyanne Weldon discussed the importance of reaching out to people outside of the marijuana legalization movement for support. There are many people who are not necessarily attending NORML meetings but who support what we’re fighting for. We simply have to extend our reach and talk to more people than ever to get the message out. The majority of Texans support legalization. We just have to show them how to participate in the movement and how they can help change laws.

Joy Strickland, the founder of MATV, discussed the progress that was made in the last legislative session with harm reduction legislation. MATV created two pieces of legislation, a Good Samaritan bill which would protect someone from prosecution who called 911 in an overdose situation, and a syringe exchange bill. The syringe exchange bill did make it to the house and senate for a vote, and lost by only a single vote. The groundbreaking work of Ms. Strickland and MATV shows that we are making progress with our elected officials, and legislation related to prohibition and drug laws is making strides in Texas.

DFW NORML was honored to attend and participate in the conference. We look forward to continue working with MATV and other anti-prohibition groups to legalize marijuana in this state.

Photos from the Texas Drug Policy Conference provided by Shaun McAlister of iamshaun.com:

Photo from the 2014 Texas Drug Policy Conference, hosted by Mothers Against Teen Violence, provided courtesy of Shaun McAlister.

Photo from the 2014 Texas Drug Policy Conference, hosted by Mothers Against Teen Violence, provided courtesy of Shaun McAlister.

Photo from the 2014 Texas Drug Policy Conference, hosted by Mothers Against Teen Violence, provided courtesy of Shaun McAlister.

Photo from the 2014 Texas Drug Policy Conference, hosted by Mothers Against Teen Violence, provided courtesy of Shaun McAlister.

Photo from the 2014 Texas Drug Policy Conference, hosted by Mothers Against Teen Violence, provided courtesy of Shaun McAlister.

Photo from the 2014 Texas Drug Policy Conference, hosted by Mothers Against Teen Violence, provided courtesy of Shaun McAlister.

Photo from the 2014 Texas Drug Policy Conference, hosted by Mothers Against Teen Violence, provided courtesy of Shaun McAlister.

Photo from the 2014 Texas Drug Policy Conference, hosted by Mothers Against Teen Violence, provided courtesy of Shaun McAlister.

Photo from the 2014 Texas Drug Policy Conference, hosted by Mothers Against Teen Violence, provided courtesy of Shaun McAlister.

Photo from the 2014 Texas Drug Policy Conference, hosted by Mothers Against Teen Violence, provided courtesy of Shaun McAlister.

Lobbyist Training Session Recap

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This Saturday, members from Dallas/Fort Worth NORML and the NORML Women’s Alliance hosted an educational legislative strategy session at Unity Church of Fort Worth. Our lobbyist training introduced local activists to the Texas legislative process and explained how to participate to help change laws. The next legislative session is in 2015, and now is the time to contact our representatives in their local home offices so in two years they head to Austin with our issues on their minds.

In Texas, the only way to legalize marijuana is for our elected Senators and Republicans to pass legislation. It is up to us to educate ourselves about the truth about cannabis and the failure of prohibition, and pass that message on to our elected officials.

You can easily find your legislator by entering your address. This website will tell you who your U.S. and state Senators and Representatives are. It includes contact information and links to the bills they have sponsored and the committees they serve on. Educate yourself on who they are and what issues they think are important. This will help you relate to them when you’re asking them to legalize marijuana.

Gather the materials you will need to educate your Senator or Representative. You can find copies of all of the educational materials discussed and handed out at Lobbying 101 online. The educational packet is full of facts and good arguments on why marijuana should be legalized for responsible adult use, medicinal purposes, and industrial hemp. Print it out and bring an additional copy for your legislator, or his or her aid, to look at as you go over the facts.

Now is a crucial time for everyone to reach out to their elected officials. The majority of Texans now want to legalize marijuana for responsible adult use. It is high time that our elected representatives begin passing legislation that actually represents the views of their constituents. It is important that each and every one of us write an email or a letter, call, or better yet make an appointment to visit our Senator’s or Representative’s local office and have a friendly and educational discussion about why marijuana needs to be legalized in our next legislative session in 2015.

Still not sure if you’re ready to go talk to your rep? Then come out to our next legislative training session in January 2014! You’ll meet every kind of activist, from people who have been visiting their Representatives for years, to people who are just getting started and are still familiarizing themselves about the legislative process. You’ll find out that calling your Senator’s office isn’t as scary as it may seem, and in fact, is pretty empowering.

We had a tremendous turnout at our first local legislative training session, and we hope to keep growing our group with every meeting we have. Participating in our government is for everyone, and it is crucial that everyone participate if we are going to legalize marijuana in this state.

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Recap of the Women’s Alliance Meetup at Bamboo Pho & Springroll

The NORML Women’s Alliance had another successful event last month when we met up at Bamboo Pho & Springroll in Arlington for dinner. The Women’s Alliance is a diverse group of women from varied backgrounds and professions who believe that the prohibition of cannabis is far more dangerous to society than the effects of the substance itself. We have groups all across the country, and ours here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area is growing quickly.

Why a women’s group? It’s simple: women are the fastest growing demographic of marijuana legalization supporters. More and more of us are showing up in the marijuana legalization movement every day. This is not only a cause for celebration, but a way to reach out and bring even more women into the organization.

Approximately 20 supporters came out to the restaurant last Friday night. Not only do they have delicious food, but Bamboo Pho & Springroll is a supporter of the cause, having recently hosted a DFW NORML meeting. We were joined by members of the Cannabus, who stopped by to eat with us and discuss recent marijuana law reform news and events.

Stacey Theis, the Cannabus’s owner and head freedom rider, inherited the bus six months ago and ever since has been on a cross country tour to bring the message of the fight for legalization to every part of the United States. She just so happened to be rolling through Texas last weekend, and as our group posed in front of the Cannabus for photos, several patrons in the parking lot stopped to show their support and take a picture in front of the bus.

I would like to personally thank everyone who came out for dinner last week. It was so great to see everyone again, and to meet all the new faces as well! Our next event is a family picnic and it’s coming up on Sunday, May 19 at Veteran’s Park in Arlington. We’ve reserved the big pavilion for our potluck picnic. So invite your friends, come out with your kids, your dog, and a dish to share, and find out how you can continue the fight to end marijuana prohibition in Texas!

If you’re interested in getting more involved with the DFW NORML Women’s Alliance, send a message to elisabeth@dfwnorml.org. Herb’s the word!

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.

October Meeting Recap

The Amsterdam Bar in Dallas hosted DFW NORML’s monthly meeting and cannabis comedy show on Saturday 11/28, and provided a patio for a cool outdoors discussion of recent efforts to legalize cannabis in Texas.

Before Shaun McAlister and Will Jenkins discussed their attendance at the 41st Annual NORML Conference in Los Angeles, board members gave the group updates about their latest projects.

Colin Wham promoted this weekend’s upcoming Day of the Dank at the Red Goose Saloon in Fort Worth. The event, sponsored by Chronic Candy, features 6 local bands, face painting, burlesque dancers, and a huge raffle, and is sure to be one of DFW NORML’s biggest events yet.

Loretta Labrada announced our next Freedom Fighter membership, Wayne Sweeney of Hostile Pipes. Freedom Fighters are recognized for their generous donations of $1,000 to DFW NORML. Wayne’s donation and others like it are instrumental in our fight to end prohibition.

Steve Williams is working with the City of Fort Worth to allow DFW NORML to adopt a street to clean and maintain as part of a way for us to give back to the community.

DFW NORML was recently asked to represent our chapter at the National NORML conference. This year in LA at the Omni hotel, Shaun and Will were asked to participate on a panel called “Putting the ‘Grass’ into Grassroots Activism” due to DFW NORML’s success and exceptional growth as an organization.

Members in attendance voted to accept a proposed change of the group’s officers. Due to time constraints, Eric Moreno stepped down from his position of Deputy Director, and Will Jenkins stepped up as the perfect person to fill that position with his unstoppable efforts to educate citizens and legalize marijuana in Texas.

Aaron Gutknecht announced that he was leaving the position of Treasurer due to time constraints and family responsibilities, and Andrea Brown will step into the position. As a professional accountant by day, Andrea is a great fit to take on the vitally important job of Treasurer. Kelsey Beene, our tireless volunteer and merchandise coordinator, made the next natural step into the position of Secretary of DFW NORML.

After the conclusion of the meeting was the first DFW NORML cannabis comedy show, and local pot friendly comedians put on a hilarious show. Big thanks to the following comedians for dedicating their time and talent to the cause:

– Alison Egert
– Pat Merchant
– Seth Brock
– Vince Quick
– Michele Benson
– Herman Gallegos
– Mama Michelle
– Ken Mathias

Thank you to the Amsterdam Bar for being a great host, and for being the perfect location for such a fun and informative meeting. Make sure you join us for our next monthly meeting on November 24 at Eddie Deen CrossRoads in Arlington. Herb’s the word!

Here’s the UStream video from the meeting:

Women’s Alliance Happy Hour Recap

The women of DFW NORML met up again over the weekend, as The Gingerman Pub in Fort Worth graciously hosted the DFW NORML Women’s Alliance’s first happy hour meet up.

A dozen women, including some long-time DFW NORML members as well as newcomers, gathered on the patio to share food and beer and to discuss politics and legalization. It was a great chance for the women of DFW NORML to get to know each other even better and to meet new activists for the first time as we shared our ideas for the Women’s Alliance and our experiences within the movement.

As usual, a large group of people going out in public sporting DFW NORML shirts can gather a lot of attention for the cause. Throughout the course of the night, several people approached us and thanked us for fighting for legalization in Texas. One woman confided that she used cannabis medicinally, and it was the only thing that helped her through her chemotherapy treatment. These visitors reminded us that many of the people we come across on a daily basis are extremely supportive of NORML’s cause and support legalization in Texas.

We discussed plans for future events and get-togethers, including kid-centric events for activist parents, opportunities for exclusive events between NORML women and local business owners, and creating female oriented t-shirts and other merchandise. We will have more events coming up soon, so stay tuned to find out about all of the exciting things the Women’s Alliance is putting together in the coming weeks!

A big thanks to the Gingerman Pub for providing us with a welcoming environment. They were very gracious and accommodating to our group, and made sure we had everything we needed. Remember, we’re always open to finding new and friendly places to host our meet ups and gatherings. If you would like to host a Women’s Alliance event or meet up in your area, let us know! We want any women who are interested in the cause to be able to attend our events, and having them across the metroplex is a great way to do that.

Email elisabeth [at] dfwnorml [dot] org for more information.

September 2012 Women’s Alliance Meetup Recap

Recently, several women from the DFW NORML Women’s Alliance got together in Arlington, Texas to discuss strategies, campaigns, and upcoming events for the group.

People are often very curious about what exactly a women’s marijuana legalization group is all about. A question I hear a lot is, “what exactly does the NORML Women’s Alliance do?”

In short, the NORML Women’s Alliance is a group of politically active women who want to legalize marijuana. We’re educated, pro-cannabis, and we love to get together and talk about it. We like to plan fun NORML events, and we like to meet other women who are interested in being involved.

We are all ages and we come from diverse political and socioeconomic backgrounds. Some of us may enjoy cannabis recreationally while others might use it as medicine. We believe that the war on marijuana is a destructive political policy that carries devastating economic and social implications. We are mothers who want to be able to have truthful discussions with our children about marijuana. We are daughters who find ourselves caring for ailing parents who might benefit from medical cannabis. Some of us have a long history in the legalization movement and some of us have just found our way here.

Why is there a need for a women-centered legalization group? Women are currently the largest growing demographic to support marijuana legalization. Gallup polls from the last several years show an increase in the percentage of women who support legalization, while the percentage of men who want weed legalized remains the same. Government studies show an increase in the number of cannabis consuming women, while the percentage of male smokers hasn’t really changed.

The number of female freedom fighters increases as the oppressive war on drugs just keeps creating a need for more drug law reform activists. The tragedies of prohibition affect women in every area of life, and it’s not surprising that more and more women are educating themselves about the failures of the government’s war on marijuana. Women of every age and occupation find themselves drawn to the drug war as freedom fighters each day.

As much as it is a political group devoted to changing laws, the NORML Women’s Alliance is also a support group for female activists and other women who have been affected by the drug war. We welcome any interested women to the movement and to our local group. If you’ve never come to a DFW NORML meeting or event, we encourage you to start! Come find us at the next DFW NORML meeting. We would love to talk to you about marijuana legalization and what we do for the movement, and we’d like to hear from you about how you want to help, too!

Email elisabeth@dfwnorml.org to get involved. Herb’s the word.

Ace Race & Smokeout Recap

When Will Jenkins realized how many disc golfers supported cannabis law reform but were unaware of the local fight to legalize marijuana, he decided a NORML sponsored disc golf tournament would be the perfect way to bring a new crowd of activists into the fold. He was right.

Last Saturday’s Ace Race at Veteran’s Park in Arlington brought in 55 registered golfers, many of whom had never attended a NORML event before, as well as plenty of supporters and pot-luck picnic goers. The event was sponsored by DFW NORML and Discraft, as well as the DFW Disc Golf Center at Quik Stop and DiscGolfStation.com.

Registered players received a pack including three brand new Discraft discs which were used in the Ace Race. Terry Toolen won the tournament by throwing the most aces in 36 holes. Hannah Grant and Dale Lewis won the ring of fire contest. Our newest sponsors, DFW Disc Golf Center at Quick Stop and Discgolfstation.com made generous donations including over $100 in disc golf merchandise as well as tons of water, chips and bananas for the players and spectators.

“The great turnout and response from the disc golf tournament showed me that even if you are skeptical about incorporating your ideology into your regular activities,” Will said, “as long as you are professional and somewhat well-spoken, people will listen more than you realize. Displaying confidence about your beliefs helps others to do the same.”

DFW NORML is always looking for new ways to reach out to potential NORML supporters. The success of the Ace Race shows that there are many ways for DFW NORML to cross over into any of our members’ favorite hobbies or sports. If you do volunteer work, play sports, participate in a crafts group, or whatever it is that you love, and you think your fellow enthusiasts might be open to learning more about the cause, talk to us about heading up a NORML sponsored event. What could be better than bringing your two favorite things together?

Herb’s the word.