March Meeting Recap

Posted on: March 31, 2013

DFW NORML’s March meeting set a new record for our group! Over 150 Texans checked in at the Curtain Club in Dallas for a public discussion about marijuana law reform and we raised over $300 in donations thanks to merchandise sales and a bake sale and it was a truly empowering day for marijuana activists here in North Texas.

Highlights from the meeting can be seen in the recap video below:

Executive Director Shaun McAlister kicked the meeting off the way he always does, by recognizing an outstanding volunteer for their contributions to the cause. This month’s Cannabis All-Star is Briana Ross from Modified Models, who can be seen on the front of our 4/20 at the Green Elephant event flyer below. She’s volunteered at multiple events, helping to sell raffle tickets and merchandise, pass out flyers and brochures, recruit new members and even lobbying at the State Capitol in Austin (twice) for legalization.


This provided the perfect segway for National Promotions Coordinator Pete Marrero to share some details about our April 20th celebration, such as our event having over 35 sponsors including High Times Magazine and 7 local head shops.. which means dope raffle items! People can expect 9 bands covering the genres of funk, reggae, rap, rock, jam and folk. There will be live glass blowing, munchies, drink specials, hoop dancers, fire spinners, vendors and energy massage. Pete explained that we had 10,000 flyers for this event printed and asked for volunteers to help get them into circulation. If you can help get these flyers in front of people before 4/20 then please email pete@dfwnorml.org.

Pete then discussed our trip to Austin for the High Times Doobie Awards and the Effinays being recognized with a Doobie Award for Activism. We met and interviewed George Clinton of Parliment Funkadelic, covered the event with photo and video, sold some merchandise, interacted with local activists from Texas NORML and San Antonio NORML and represented well for our chapter.

Next, Deputy Director William Jenkins took to the stage to let people know about our Global Marijuana March. We’re currently in talks with 2 different locations and hope to have final confirmation within the week. Then he discussed his experiences lobbying in Austin for marijuana legalization, including speaking with representatives and staffers and testifying at the hearing for House Bill 184 before the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. Will urged our supporters to contact their representatives if we as Texans are serious about change.

Tristan Tucker, Executive Director of UNT NORML was next and he echoed Will’s urgency for people to call, email and visit their elected representatives. He pointed out that throwing parties, protests and conferences are effective ways of raising awareness, but making sure our elected reps know the voting public supports marijuana legalization is the fastest way to actually change the laws.

Larry Talley, Strategist for DFW NORML then discussed the 4 bills currently in the Texas legislature relavent to marijuana. Afterwards, he shared a personal story about how his representative is finally beginning to “come around” thanks to regular communication and education about marijuana. If you have questions about speaking to your rep and would like some advice or coaching, please email larry@dfwnorml.org.

Following that, Attorney Leslie Burgoyne gave a rundown of marijuana victories in other states such as Kentucky’s industrial hemp farming bill, Rhode Island’s decriminalization bill which goes into effect April 1st and Hawaii’s legalization bill.

Then we heard from Elisabeth Rodriguez, co-founder of DFW NORML about the NORML Women’s Alliance and Moms 4 Marijuana’s Cannabis Quilt which has a pro-legalization patch for all 50 states. She announced the DFW NORML Women’s Alliance next meet-up which is being held at Bamboo Pho & Springroll on Friday April 26th. RSVP on Facebook for the most current info and email elisabeth@dfwnorml.org with any questions regarding the NORML Women’s Alliance.

Up next was Nicoll Curtis, one of our volunteers from Modified Models. Nicoll talked about how medicinal marijuana helps her personally and shared the details of an experience she recently had at her doctor’s office between conservative Christians against marijuana and the nurses that argued for its medicinal value.

And then we heard from two pro-pot politicians: Daniel Wood, running for Arlington City Council and Chris Dobson who is running for Mayor of Arlington. They both talked about why they decided to run for public office and encouraged supporters of DFW NORML to do the same. They explained just how simple it is to run for office and hope to bring about a positive change from within the government.

Finally, Pete returned to the stage to formally announce “The Effin’ NORML Tour,” a nationwide event meant to help local NORML chapters raise funds and awareness within their local communities. He talked about how the Effinays have been volunteering for DFW NORML for years, not only playing many shows but showing up for meetings and community service events as well. The Effinays then closed the meeting with an awesome performance while members stuck around to enjoy the show, mingle and sample some delicious food from Meaty Cut BBQ.

Special thanks to the Curtain Club for hosting us again and to everyone for spending a couple of hours from their Saturday with us. Join us for our April meeting on 4/27 at the Whiskey Girl Saloon in Fort Worth.

Herb’s the word!