Of the many polarizing subjects that have been debated for decades, none have quite received as much attention and growing support as the legalization of cannabis. Support to legalize cannabis on a federal level has reached an all time high for many reasons beyond simply teenagers wanting to get high. Instead, the majority of Americans are finally seeing the many possible benefits of a cannabis-legal future, including giving medical access to those who use medical marijuana and keeping low-level, nonviolent drug offenders out of prison only for a small amount of cannabis.

 

With that being said though, not all states are entirely aboard the cannabis legalization bandwagon. While there are very pro-cannabis governors and senators such as Colorado governor John Hickenlooper and New Jersey governor-elect Phil Murphy, other states aren’t as fortunate. Due to marijuana remaining federally illegal, many remain skeptical to implement legalization policies.

 

Texas has found itself in a particularly strange situation because while it’s four largest cities all have Democratic mayors, Governor Greg Abbott is a staunch conservative who shows no plans on legalizing marijuana anytime soon. However, that hasn’t stopped numerous cities in Texas from implementing either decriminalization measures or a “catch in release” program where an offender won’t serve jail time.

 

And just like any other political issues, those who want full legalization have hosted marches all across the country. In fact, marches in favor of cannabis legalization have become so popular that a total of 829 different cities in 72 countries have hosted marches, everywhere from New York to every major city in France and even Copenhagen. Dallas recently hosted the Dallas Marijuana March, a march in favor of cannabis legalization and drug law reform.

 

Contrary to the stereotypes of those who are against marijuana legalization such as outgoing New Jersey governor with a 15 percent approval rating Chris Christie, Dallas Marijuana March, held at Dealey Plaza as well as The JFK Memorial, had hundreds of attendees all from different walks of life all coming together for a common goal, that goal being to legalize a plant so often stigmatized and criminalized.

 

Of the many fascinating speakers, each with their own pro-cannabis legalization message to relay, was Dallas police officer Nick Novello. Outspoken in his beliefs of marijuana legalization, Novello gave an impassioned speech on the issue and The War on Drugs’ many convoluted policies as a whole.

 

In regards to the recent cite and release program that will be implemented in Dallas in December, Novello held no stops in telling the many hundred Dallasites that attended exactly how he felt about the new policy.

 

(dfwnorml.org)

“This new policy is, quite frankly, heinous.” he told the crowd. “It’s criminal. It’s still the criminalization of those we’ve sworn to protect.”

 

Novello then stated a very obvious statistic that is painfully obvious to many groups even if the government decides to ignore it.

 

“What I echo is being echoed by 50-60 percent of the American people.”

 

He then told the little known story of Terrance Cunningham, the chief of the International Police Chief’s Association. Cunningham, in front of a large gathering, apologized to America. Continuing, Cunningham apologized specifically to minorities whose lives were so horribly impacted and said that “we’ve done some unspeakable things because of some of the bad laws on the books.”

 

“I don’t have hatred for anyone in my heart. But I do speak with passion and hatred for policies and programs that have taken our freedoms from us. So stand fast, I applaud you and I thank you for your time today.” Novello said to conclude his speech.

 

Along with Officer Novelo, there were an array of guests all from differents fields of work. Governor hopeful and staunch Libertarian Kory Watkins gave an equally impassioned speech about how the government shouldn’t be involved in cannabis whatsoever, how The War on Drugs should end immediately and how he plans on pardoning every nonviolent, victimless crime offender.

 

It’s fascinating how the majority of the country supports legalization yet cannabis finds itself in a strange web of confusing policies regarding legalization. Yet, if the Dallas Marijuana March is any proof, then cannabis legalization in Texas will be here sooner rather than later.

 

Did you go to Dallas Marijuana March? If so, Tweet me at @CaptainKasoff and we’ll talk about it.