Handing out brochures

Charity Smith and Dan Apila, members of NORML, hand out brochures and educate visitors Saturday during the HUB City NORML conference and music festival at the Depot District O-Bar.

The Lubbock community is seeing its own revolution in terms of gathering support for the legalization of marijuana.  

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is one of the organizations putting its message to the forefront of legalizing marijuana.

As part of its rally for support, NORML hosted an educational event Friday and Saturday at the O-Bar, which had pro-marijuana vendors and speakers.

“The mission statement of our chapter is to move public opinion sufficiently to see an end to marijuana prohibition, so that responsible use of cannabis by adults is no longer subject to penalty,” said Colt Smith, executive director for NORML.

“NORML supports the removal of all penalties for the private possession of cannabis by adults, cultivation for personal use and the casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts,” read the brochure handed out by NORML volunteers.

The brochure also lists the medical benefits, industrial use and recreational use of cannabis and hemp.

Smith said the organization is spreading the message that people are often misinformed about the subject of marijuana use and that marijuana or cannabis has many health benefits.

“My message to young adults,” Smith said, “would be: please educate yourself on what is factual, please understand what the plant really is and what it’s not.”

Among the speakers at the event was Terry Nelson, executive vice chairman for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Nelson said LEAP’s goal is to regulate and control the use of all drugs to take better control of the use of harmful substances.

“Once we legalize it and control it, (it) will cure about 80 percent of our crime and violence,” Nelson said. “And we can deal with our drug issues per educational treatment instead of arrests and incarceration.”

Nelson said he doesn’t believe children should be allowed to use drugs, but adults should have the freedom to consume what they want.

Smith and Nelson both agreed they wanted to see more young people take an active role in who represents them in the government.

“Most importantly to the young people, you have to get out and vote,” Nelson said. “You have to make the decisions.”

He said the prohibition of marijuana and other hardcore drugs has lead to major losses in money for the U.S. government, which could be put to better use.

“So I think we’re on the verge of making a breakthrough here and winning this,” Nelson said. “People are getting tired. In 40 years of the drug war, we’ve spent $1.3 trillion and it made no difference. Drugs are easier to get, far stronger than they used to be and cheaper.”

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