This Cinco de Mayo -- OK, Fine, Cinco de Mota -- NORML Takes its Cause to Dallas City Hall

420-truth-baker-institute.jpg
DFW NORML's 420 Truth Enforcement Vehicle. San Antonio's "weedmobile" is a Smart Car.
With Cinco de Mayo fast approaching, the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, is scrambling to remind Americans that if you're going to undermine a holiday designed to celebrate a culture's heritage, you don't have to just do it by getting hammered. You can also do it by getting high.

Our local weed activists are throwing a festival on Saturday called Cinco de Mota at Dallas City Hall. The 42-year-old organization's goal, active in over 300 cities around the world, hopes to "build a party around the march, to send a strong message to our community leaders that Texans want to see an end to the drug war and the violence associated with marijuana prohibition around the world."

Unfair Park emailed Shaun McAlister, the Executive Director of DFW NORML. He said he'd call at noon. Like clockwork, he was 22 minutes late.

"This is a glaring example of how the US government oversteps their bounds," McAlister said about the country's pot ban. "I should be able to put whatever I want in my body, whether it's a 1,400-calorie burger or a bullet. Both of which are legal."

"Colorado and Washington are going to vote and most likely legalize recreational use in 2012," he added. "The question that I pose to Texas is, if people are going to pass marijuana legislation, does Texas want to be one of the first and make money? Or continue to imprison people more than any other country in the world?"

Last year only 150 people showed up, and the festival lasted about three hours. But this year, McAlister's at the helm. He set aside more money for this year's festival/demonstration, and he booked National NORML Outreach Coordinator "Radical" Russ Belville as the event's keynote speaker and emcee.

"We don't need to hide in the shadows," McAlister said, before poetically adding: "We need to come in the light with this."

They'll have live bands, 10 vendors, fire spinners, parkour performers, a "cannabis all-star drum line" from UT-Arlington, artists, a raffle of three full-sized handmade Texas hemp flags (the star's replaced with a marijuana leaf), a 420 Truth Enforcement Vehicle (pictured above), masseuses, and glory to God, six food trucks.

texas-hemp-flag.png
We kind of want this.
Here's the maybe tentative schedule: Cinco de Mota starts at 2 at City Hall. There will allegedly be a March portion at 4:20 sharp to the JFK Memorial. After occupying the knoll for an hour, interacting with media, they plan on walking back.

"Hopefully I'm going to see a light saber battle at night time," McAlister said, before adding, "I've got a light saber myself." We're really not sure what that's about.

At the end of the conversation, though, it was time to talk about what was really important: chiefly whether or not people would be able to get stoned out of their motherfucking skulls at City Hall.

"If 1,000 people show up at this thing, I don't really see people stopping anyone from doing anything. Because it's Cinco de Mayo, people are going to be drunk off margaritas," he said, spitting on the drink name as he said it. "NORML does not condone any illegal activity of any kind," McAlister continued. "But if a shit ton of people show up, who knows what can happen."

No need to pile on here, Shaun. You had us at "1,400-calorie burger."

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58 comments
Brad
Brad

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Marcus Brownlee
Marcus Brownlee

A schedule 1 hallucinogen should not be in the same category as tobacco. Saying it should be exhibits a state of mind that is not based in reality. You libs here can't be the party of emotions and the party of science at the same time. By your positing, morphine and xanex should be legally the same as caffeine. Your ludicrous statements betray your state of mind, which is likely similar to those of the perma-fries on this page who claim that pot is for "medicinal purposes," even though pot has been decriminalized in many places, prematurely, and is available to all who WISH to use use it for their self medication. It's neither slick nor crafty to replace the word "addict" with "patient," and the more people do this, the more people who actually need THC get hurt.

Pot will never be legalized  because the cartels make too much money from the black market, and the government makes too much money from the cartels. The DNC promised the potheads legalization if they voted in Jerry Brown and Camella Harris, but the socialist overlords fooled you idiots and now we have a one party oligarchy in which pot is still illegal. The proposition didn't change federal law anyway, making all the idiot liberals who voted that way SUPREME TOOLS. Now we have governor Moonbeam for an illegal third term and an attorney general who is as lawless as Eric Holder.

With the attorney general of the US selling M2 machine guns to Mexican drug cartels, our state department building Mosques in foreign lands under Hillary Clinton, Iran building nuclear weapons, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt launching rockets at Israel, now that they've just about completed their genocide of over half a million Christians, perhaps you fools should be worried about more than pot. Do you really think the "war on terror" is over just because the pretender in chief says so? All you potheads pretending to sympathize with your victims (the patients who can actually benefit from THC) should be ashamed of yourselves. But that's one of the problems with pot; it changes the way you see the world and yourself, so you are no longer able to judge things as they are and you live in a world that is not the same as reality.

Screw Stinko De Mayo. Remember the Battle of San Jacinto.

Steve Williams
Steve Williams

". . .Do these pot-smoking hippies realize how offensive it is, considering that a lot of Mexican refugees are here because these people continue funding the cartels? Call for legalization all you want, but you are STILL funding the torture, murder, rape, and human rights violations going on in Mexico."

This is the kind of ignorance that NORML is trying to change. The War on Drugs is responsible for all of the issues this person mentioned, not the millions of Americans trying to grow their own cannabis or buying a friends home grown. The real facts are there, but you have to get off your ass and go look for them. But unfortunately, WILLFUL ignornace is the hardest to combat. 

Shaun McAlister
Shaun McAlister

Kinda sad that the Dallas Observer is more interested in painting a legal fight for cannabis law reform as a group of unorganized hippies, instead of embracing this opportunity to enact real change in Texas. 

Oh well. At least we'll have real media out there on Saturday. :)

Levichase
Levichase

Rock on Shaun! Awesome article I enjoyed it very much and I will see you there! Marijuana absolutely should be legalized. It's wasting our government trillions of dollars not being regulated in Texas.

Will
Will

The more I read this, the more comedic it sounds. I can't even really find the spite that originally came off. Ha... "There will allegedly be a March portion at 4:20 sharp...", perfect.

No
No

Wow, Cinco de Mota? Do these pot-smoking hippies realize how offensive it is, considering that a lot of Mexican refugees are here because these people continue funding the cartels? Call for legalization all you want, but you are STILL funding the torture, murder, rape, and human rights violations going on in Mexico. 

james
james

in the olden days of bein' a dam dirty hippy...folks went to huge rock'nroll concerts an' they openly toked up en masse, wavin' their smokes at the cops an' laughin' at 'em. tarrant county convention center, dallas county convention center, reunion arena, the cotton bowl, all became the freak's domain for the day. now a rock n' roll concert is just a corporate run no smoking environment unfit for most of us ol' timers to exist in. who the fuck wants to go to a show with some security asshole screamin' in your face,, treatin' you like a dog?  hendrix/morrison/janis  would roll over in their graves and stop the show.. now we have a protest march on city hall yo beg for basic smokers rights? we used to TAKE those rights. we need to TAKE BACK WHAT WAS ALWAYS OURS IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Steve Williams
Steve Williams

DFWNorml getting press is a fantastic sign of the strength of the legalization movement. Prohibition of marijuana has not worked and it's time for a huge change. Period.  But perhaps it was too difficult for the rather smug author of this article to attempt to educate his readers by perhaps mentioning the nearly one million Americans that are arrested every year for marijuana possession, or the increasing medical studies showing the incredible benefits of ingesting this herb, or the increasing number of states that are passing laws legalizing medical marijuana and even completely ending prohibition.  No, that might have taken actual work, even…dare I say it…journalism? See how easy it is to make smarmy comments that don’t really benefit anyone but the writer’s ego? DFWNorml should be commended for working to make a change in laws that have benefited only the prison and the pharmaceutical industries, while ruining the lives of millions of average Americans.

Jameszametz
Jameszametz

In response to RT Golden, there is a consequence for your actions. If you get in a car accident, if it's your fault, you pay for it. If you don't have insurance, you really pay for it. It's not a bad choice to drive a car (don't know why you would even say that) Accidents happen because someone made a bad decision, and that person ends up paying for there mistake. Yes, it should apply to everything. There has to be an end to taking care of people who make bad choices. It's not a bad choice to smoke a joint as long as your not infringing on anyone else's rights. Same as drinking or smoking cigarettes(that is, in moderation for all)

Kathryn
Kathryn

I agree with this-"..... send a strong message to our community leaders that Texans want to see an end to the drug war and the violence associated with marijuana prohibition around the world." The war on drugs hurts everyone. I commend NORML for their efforts.

LorettaKat
LorettaKat

Joke about it if you must, at least you're actually talking about it. Prohibition is a FAILURE. And it is not stopping hard-working, educated, successful, people from being effective members of society. It is not legal YET, but it is NOT a DRUG. 70% of Americans believe that marijuana should be re-legalized in this country. Marijuana Prohibition is NOT just about a "bunch of stoners" - it's about you, me, our kids, our parents, our grandparents and anyone who has ever been affected by the unjust laws OR the inability to explore an alternative treatment/cure for the illnesses in our society that modern "science" does not seem to be able to conquer. (Cancer, for one.) DFW NORML invites you to come out from behind your picket fences for a day! And have a lot of fun doing it!

Ed Maddox
Ed Maddox

That was like reading a news article from one of the CONSERVATIVE news outlets. I am amazed that a paper that would have a "Back Page" where ANYTHING GOES would slant real NEWS like this event.  

Robert
Robert

This is awesome!  This is exactly what Texas needs. There are so many more people enjoying marijuana responsibly than most people realize.  If everyone were to "come out", I think it would be a complete shot to a lot of people. "Oh shit, Dave smokes weed? I've worked with that guy for like 3 years. He's such a hard worker. I would have never guessed." 

We work just as hard as you do, but when we go home, some of us prefer reliving the pure joy of childhood laugh our asses off watching Yo Gabba Gabba with our friends not hurting anyone to going out and getting shit faced at a bar.  When's the last time you felt the wonder and excitement you used to have when you were a kid?  Seriously, it's only like 3 puffs or special brownie away, plus it's a much safer and natural substance than alcohol.  You are more likely to die choking on a peanut than you are from marijuana. (If you don't already know, it is physically impossible to OD smoking weed).

It's extremely exciting to see NORML putting on an event like this.  It really shows the momentum marijuana legalization is gaining.  

Soul Rebel
Soul Rebel

I strongly support any and all Cannabis activism. People need to understand and speak out regarding the multitude of benefits of Cannabis, from industrial, enviromental, economical, medicinal and recreational, it all has value and the false negatives and propoganda cause an unfortunatly knee jerk reaction to any Marijuana activism which assumes Hippies, stoners and slakers are simply looking for the right to smoke.This couldnt be further from the truth.  End the Apathy and Ignorance, come out and let your voice be heard. I personally tip my hat to you all for making the effort... And Yes, if your a hot chick.. drop me a line!   One Love

Jameszametz
Jameszametz

Marijuana should be treated no differently than cigarettes. The only reason that these events have to take place is to make awareness to PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. If someone wants to smoke a joint while huffing gasoline, although very stupid, that should be there right. Hell, it might even kill off the same idiots that would do such a thing. All of these laws that prevent us americans from making our own decisions are just keeping stupid people alive, which creates more of a burden for everyone else. Go ahead and eat Mcdonald's every day, smoke joints and cigarettes till you get glaucoma, diabetes and clogged arteries. Then when you go to the doctor to get fixed, there should be a law saying " guess what, you are a dumbass, pay for your own insurance to fix the problems you created for yourself or die" then there will be one less idiot around living off of social programs and medicaid. DO WHAT YOU WANT BUT DON'T EXPECT HELP WHEN YOUR BAD CHOICES COME BACK AND BITE YOU IN THE ASS!!! Personal responsibility people. That's why it should be legal. Period.

Ed D.
Ed D.

"I should be able to put whatever I want in my body, whether it's a 1,400-calorie burger or a bullet. Both of which are legal."

I guess you could swallow a bullet legally but I'm not sure shooting yourself recreationally is legal, even in Texas. Any lawyers want to weigh in here?

Soul Rebel
Soul Rebel

Hey Luv, how are you?  I would love to get to know you more. Hope to hear back from you.

One Love

CJ

ObserverFan
ObserverFan

 Legalize it! Then tax the shit out of it!

NillaNick
NillaNick

What a crappy write up about this event that is growing bigger by the day. As Dallas' "alternative news" I expected GREG HOWARD to take a much more centered approach instead of the typical buillshit media slant. But hey, at least the story made new right? 

RTGolden
RTGolden

I wonder if a legalization of marijuana would carry the same restrictions on public smoking that cigarettes have?

I mean, I'm all for legalization of marijuana, although I've never used it.  I'm also all for letting private property owners (i.e. restaurant and bar owners) decide what can and cannot legally be used in their establishments.  If non-smokers (which I am)  want a smoke-free dinner, let them trudge around town looking for a non-smoking restaurant.

Either way, I think if MJ gets legalized, it should have to fall under the same restrictions as tobacco smoking.

Bab W. Adetiba
Bab W. Adetiba

To my understanding, majority of Americans support decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana. Politicians are always late, though. And most of em are scared to actually stand for something "unconventional."

We should take a page of Portugal's drug policy book...and the ensuing Latin American countries.

Steve
Steve

NORML is its own cliched worst enemy.    

trudat
trudat

I hope they have a voter registration table and a well thought out legislative agenda/strategy to propose to folks that might show up.  Marijuana in Texas is popular and plentiful. Texas politicians who have enough backbone and morals to represent the people on this issue are as "scarce as a hens teeth".  It would seem that an organization like this could serve to help whip the absentee spineless politicians into shape so that they can carry the ball on this issue and represent the people.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Is one of the vendors going to be selling "brownies"?

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

I would think a higher food truck/artist ratio might work better.

JesseHughey
JesseHughey

I am all for NORML's goals, but good God, why do those of us who support legalization leave all the work to hippie potheads? How are parkour, fire spinning, lightsaber fights and spiteful attitudes toward margaritas going to win over the old white squares who cling to prohibition?

donovan acree
donovan acree

@facebook-570892764:disqus  "A schedule 1 hallucinogen should not be in the same category as tobacco. Saying it should be exhibits a state of mind that is not based in reality."

Marijuana is not a hallucinogen. Schedule 1 drugs are those with no medical benefit or safe dosage. Classifying marijuana as Schedule 1 exhibits a state of mind that is not based in reality.

Guest
Guest

"perhaps you fools should be worried about more than pot."

That's what we are bitching about: the govt wasting billions of dollars each year jailing good decent Americans for simply preferring marijuana over the extremely destructive effects of alcohol.

james
james

legalise and grow your own. then the cartels have nothing to do.

Will
Will

Who is funding it?

Shaun McAlister
Shaun McAlister

"No", I can definitely see how you'd get that perception from the way this article was written. Unfortunately for me, a few key things about our motivations for putting on this event were left out, so I'll add them here:

The Global Marijuana March is an annual, free rally held in 300+ cities across the globe. Since it falls on Cinco de Mayo this year, the Dallas / Fort Worth NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) have dubbed ours “Cinco de Mota – Festival & March.”Mota is Latin American slang for weed, so this name was chosen as a grim acknowledgement from our community of the more than 50,000 Mexican lives that have been lost since President Felipe Calderon launched a massive military crackdown against the drug cartels in 2006.

The plan is to build a party around the march, to send a strong message to our community leaders that Texans want to see an end to the drug war and the violence associated with marijuana prohibition around the world.Expect live music, speakers, prizes, food trucks, vendors, fire spinners, free runners & more. Where? Dallas City Hall. When? May 5, 2012. The party starts at 2pm. We’ll march at 4:20pm and the party lasts until 10:00pm. Join us as we celebrate for legalization and the rights of all adults to consume cannabis responsibly. Together we’ll continue ending cannabis prohibition one Texan at a time.

Everything you need to know is at dfwnorml.org/march.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Appreciate your point of view, not that far off of my own, really.

One thing though, I didn't say it was a bad choice to drive a car.  In fact I went out of my way to point out that it isn't an irresponsible decision.  Like auto insurance, most Americans have health insurance.  Therefore, they're paying for the care that comes of their bad choices.  Also like auto insurance, some do not have health insurance.  In both cases, the public usually pics up the tab for care resulting from accidents (bad choices).  I don't think anyone is advocating that we simply push injured but uninsured drivers off the shoulder and out of the flow of traffic, yet your comment above seemed to advocate for just that treatment of people who require health care due to other bad choices. After all, driving really is a personal choice.  Is that overweight person suffering from personal irresponsibility or is it a hereditary condition?  Can you verify that in time to save their life in the case of a heart attack?

Guesto
Guesto

Right, the Dallas Observer has no problem mocking people fighting against marijuana prohbition while their paper publicizes Booze Festivals and ads for prostitutes. 

RTGolden
RTGolden

Would you apply this same criteria to other personal decisions people make?

There is an automobile accident every 60 seconds in the US (according to insurance statistics).  That comes out to over 525,000/year.  40,000+ people die annually in car accidents.  These people made a conscious decision to drive a car, knowing full well the risks involved.  Sorry folks, pay for it yourself or die.

I'm not saying it is a personally irresponsible decision to drive a car, but the risks are there and very real, and everyone who drives a car does so knowing that death is not an unlikely result.  The point is, you cannot deny care to someone because they make a bad choice.  This is a ghastly point of view to take.

Montemalone
Montemalone

 Cannabis is a palliative for glaucoma.

Montemalone
Montemalone

 Suicide is illegal.

I've never seen a successful one prosecuted, though.

jfpo
jfpo

Politicians being late or scared has nothing to do with it. We will never have rational drug laws as long as we have the Corrections Corporation of America.

Guesto
Guesto

 How does a Gay Pride Parade with all those transgender dudes prancing around wearing fairy wings help the gay cause?  I don't know but Republican then-Mayor Tom Leppert had no problem dignifying it with his presence - twice!  Maybe it's time for the Dallas Observer staff to come out of the closet on marijuana.  But then maybe they are afraid the DEA will raid their office and find out they have been using their writing paper for rolling doobies.

http://www.dallasobserver.com/...

Guesto
Guesto

 The Dallas Observer would treat the marijuana legalization rally more seriously if it was called "Stoners United For Gay Marriage, Killing Unborn Babies, and Dressing Like Sluts."

http://blogs.dallasobserver.co...

Observist
Observist

Yeah, it's kind of like "Frat Boys Against Prohibition of Beer".  Right message, suspect messenger.

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

It may not win anyone over, but lightsaber fights are AWESOME.

Guesto
Guesto

 Who is giving them the guns?  Lets end the "whatever" Amendment, which allows the  right to own assault guns.

RTGolden
RTGolden

No reason to let reality get in the way of a good rant.

JesseHughey
JesseHughey

Can't argue with that, but I can't help but think old fogies will look at them and be like, "If that's what marijuana does to people ..."

Shaun McAlister
Shaun McAlister

Jesse, I can definitely see how you'd get that perception from the way this article was written. Unfortunately for me, a few key things about our motivations for putting on this event were left out, so I'll add them here:

The Global Marijuana March is an annual, free rally held in 300+ cities across the globe. Since it falls on Cinco de Mayo this year, the Dallas / Fort Worth NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) have dubbed ours “Cinco de Mota – Festival & March.”

Mota is Latin American slang for weed, so this name was chosen as a grim acknowledgement from our community of the more than 50,000 Mexican lives that have been lost since President Felipe Calderon launched a massive military crackdown against the drug cartels in 2006.

The plan is to build a party around the march, to send a strong message to our community leaders that Texans want to see an end to the drug war and the violence associated with marijuana prohibition around the world.

Expect live music, speakers, prizes, food trucks, vendors, fire spinners, free runners & more. Where? Dallas City Hall. When? May 5, 2012. The party starts at 2pm. We’ll march at 4:20pm and the party lasts until 10:00pm. Join us as we celebrate for legalization and the rights of all adults to consume cannabis responsibly. Together we’ll continue ending cannabis prohibition one Texan at a time.

Everything you need to know is at dfwnorml.org/march.

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