Marijuana backers hit downtown Fort Worth

06/06/2014 4:22 PM

11/12/2014 5:56 PM

Move over, GOP convention-goers, the marijuana reformists are in Cowtown, too.

The Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is hosting the second annual Texas Regional NORML Conference this weekend in downtown Fort Worth. More than 300 people are expected to attend.

A few blocks away, thousands of Republicans are attending the state party convention at the Fort Worth Convention Center. NORML organizers decided that this weekend was the ideal time to broach the issue, saying the stage is set for reform.

“It’s not coincidence,” said Shaun McAlister, executive director of DFW NORML. “It’s all part of a deliberate strategy.

“I believe marijuana prohibition is circling the drains,” McAlister said, adding that fewer people are defending the “failed policies” against pot.

The event is a seminar for people interested in legalizing marijuana for medical purposes and for responsible recreational use by adults. The conference will also touch on the business side of hemp, the cannabis plant grown for its fiber.

The fiber can be used in rope, yarn and body products.

The gathering will be held at the Norris Conference Centers in downtown Fort Worth. Humorist/politician Kinky Friedman will speak at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Larry Talley, a military veteran and supporter of marijuana law reform, said legalization has gained broader acceptance. But there seems to be a disconnect between what many people want and what lawmakers want, he said.

“Texans are ready, but until they let their representatives know, nothing is going to change,” Talley said.

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