On May 1st “freedom fighting, seed planting folks” will converge on Austin’s Capitol steps for the largest pro-cannabis rally in Texas history. Josh Schimberg, Executive Director of Texas N.O.R.M.L. spoke to The Examiner about the organization’s efforts to legalize and decriminalize marijuana (cannabis). Schimberg says that 14 states have now legalized medical marijuana and Californians are voting in November on the legalization of marijuana for “outright” adult recreational use. Texas N.O.R.M.L. is working for responsible cannabis reform in Texas.
Marijuana and Austin? That’s weird?
“Compared to other Texas cities, Austin is weird.” says Schimberg. “Austin and Travis County are leading the trend toward possession of marijuana tolerance within the law.”
Schimberg explains, “There’s a Texas law that gives law enforcement officers the option to forego arrest if someone is found to possess 2 ounces of marijuana or less. This division of the law has specific caveats and stipulations, and it does not affect the charges. But it saves the police department time and money when dealing with non-violent marijuana offenders. The fact that the Travis County Sheriff’s Department and the City of Austin Police Department officially recognize this law is evidence that Austin and Travis County are ahead of the curve. It has been difficult to get law enforcement agencies in other Texas cities onboard. This is a law, but it is one that empowers an officer to use discretion, and it is optional.”
Cannabis parade and rally
Jeremy Oldham, Director of Public Relations for Texas N.O.R.M.L. says, “Participation in the Texas Cannabis Crusade matters.” He encourages folks to arrive at Wooldridge Square Park at 10 a.m. for live music, sign making and information on letter-writing and continued activism. “It’s important our message is heard,” says Oldham. “Not just on May 1st, but throughout the year, especially when Congress is in session.”
The parade starts at noon, as protesters wind through downtown (escorted by Austin police officers) to the steps of the Capitol Building. Speakers at the rally include Bruce Fox and Barry Cooper plus music by Chief Greenbud and Champa. At 3 p.m. festivities resume at Wooldridge Square Park with more live music until 10 p.m.
Live Music in Wooldridge Square Park
3:15 p.m. – Radio Valley
4:00 p.m. – Ouachita
4:45 p.m. – Flatcar Rattlers
5:30 p.m. – One Step Program
6:30 p.m. – Ashes of Babylon
7:45 p.m. – Shotgun Hustler
9:00 p.m. – Sun Salutation
Want to keep up with what keeps Austin weird? Receive e-mail alerts when new articles are available. Just click on the “Subscribe” button above.
... tweet, tweet ... Follow Machelle Dunlop on twitter here!