FORT WORTH - “Free the weed! We smoke weed!” was chanted by hundreds of marijuana activists as they marched through the streets of downtown Fort Worth on Saturday joining other cities around the world for the Global Marijuana March.
Around 800 people, including young children to elderly adults, veterans, patients in wheelchairs, and many dogs marched together openly consuming marijuana to the Tarrant County Courthouse advocating to end marijuana prohibition in the state of Texas.
The Fort Worth protest included military veterans, cancer survivors, business owners, and people with chronic health conditions who spoke on behalf of the medical value of cannabis, and the urgency to reform laws in Texas.
Barbara Humphries, 32-year-old cancer survivor, shared her testimony at the top of the courthouse steps.
“I am a survivor of stage three invasive breast cancer,” said, Humphries, “I used cannabis oil during my entire treatment. It helped me eat, it helped with my mood, and it saved my life.”
U.S. veteran and Mayoral Candidate of Whitewright, Jeremiah Looney, who was separated from the army for PTSD, shared his testimony.
“I was in the VA’s care taking upwards of 30 pills a day, from methadone to seroquel and those pills were terrible,” said Looney. “I was every hour taking something else, and it had me on my couch and one day I decided that I wanted to kill myself, and I turned to cannabis then. It's changed my life and helped me immensely, I want to help bring this medicine to everyone and we need to speak up and share our stories.”
Texas Legislature in 2015 passed the Compassionate Use Act, a limited medical marijuana bill that legalized low-THC cannabidiol oil for patients with epilepsy. Although the bill is limited, advocates say it is a great step for Texas towards full-plant medical legalization.
Shaun McAlister, executive director of the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter for the National Organization Reforming Marijuana Laws (NORML) said they want to see a change in our laws sooner rather than later.
“If we are going to be true and helpful to our Texas patients, veterans, and just people who need medicine, then we need to stop putting patients in cages.” said McAlister. “We need to stop restricting the use and growing of cannabis.”
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