TX: Candidate For Governor Leads Weed Movement

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Photo Credit: Caleb Vierkant

Marijuana legalization is a controversial topic across the nation. The official stance of the federal government is that marijuana should be kept illegal. They feel it is unsafe and that it is a “gateway drug” which leads people to trying more dangerous drugs.

On the other hand, several states have legalized the drug and regulated it. There are many who see the potential for marijuana to have medical benefits, as well as to be a cash crop for businesses. In Texas, where marijuana is still an illegal substance, the debate is ongoing.

Cannabis Open Carry Walks is dedicated to seeing marijuana legalized in the state of Texas. They demonstrate their support for legalizing weed by organizing marches across the state. According to their Facebook page, the organization wants to see medical and recreational marijuana use legalized by 2019, when state legislators will meet again after the 2018 election.

“Our goal is to be so consistent and everywhere, so much that there is no ignoring this movement. We are going to have walks two to three times a week, all over the state, in many cities. Anyone can be a part of this by simply organizing a walk in your area,” their Facebook page reads.

Kory Watkins is one of the founding members of Cannabis Open Carry, and is also running for governor on the Libertarian ticket. He said he doesn’t like to call Cannabis Open Carry an “organization,” preferring the term “movement.”

“We’re a movement of people who are tired of people getting locked in a cage for a plant,” he said.

Watkins said that Cannabis Open Carry was started just before New Year’s, their first event being held in February. Since then, he said, the group has expanded rapidly. There are currently 30 organizers in 30 cities across Texas helping to plan marches.

As to the marches themselves, Watkins said they are always safe events with a very positive environment. Nobody taking part in the events are doing and/or carrying anything illegal on them. The only thing “open carry” about the group is their support for weed, he said. He also pointed out that the movement has not had much trouble with local authorities, either.

“Everyone is very supportive. Police officers come and say, ‘Keep doing what you’re doing, just be safe.’ ”

The largest supporters in Cannabis Open Carry are people wanting to see the business side of marijuana legalization come to Texas, wanting to grow and sell the plants openly as a private business. Those advocating the medical benefits of cannabis are also big supporters of the movement.

“The medical issue is big … People don’t want crazy side effects, they want something natural that’s never killed anybody in the history of the world,” Watkins said.

More information about Cannabis Open Carry can be found on Facebook at “420OpenCarry.” Watkins’ campaign website is http://www.korywatkinsfortexas.com/.

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