Dallas Weed Activists Plan St. Paddy's Day Protest after Being Excluded from Parade

Categories: Events

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This weekend's Greenville Ave -- ahem, Dallas St. Patrick's Day Parade & Festival -- is supposed to be more "family friendly" than years past. It sounds ominous but, as we were assured in January, is more of a marketing thing than an effort to keep keep people from getting wildly, embarrassingly drunk.

Still, the new family-friendly policy seems to have claimed its first casualty: marijuana activists.

"The Greenville Avenue Area Business Association has decided not to allow DFW NORML to participate in their St. Paddies Day Parade in Dallas this Saturday because of what we stand for," Shaun McAlister, the group's executive director, wrote on Facebook last night. "Because of this, we hereby protest."

He added, on his personal account, that, "We come in peace, but we're pissed."

Parade spokesman Mauricio Navarro has promised a call back at the conclusion of this afternoon's pre-St. Paddy's Day press conference. We are waiting. But the NORML folks have taken to Facebook to note the absurdity of their exclusion on the page created for the protest.

"So, the same area that overserves people on a nightly basis, loading them up with booze for their drive home, hoping they don't hit and kill anyone is against a peaceful, respectful marijuana legalization group?" one gentleman asks. "That's rich."

Another wonders: "Is this the same parade on Greenville Avenue that SNOOP is a part of? If so how does ANY of them not allowing US in the parade add up? I am baffled."

In fact, it's not: Snoop Dogg is playing the Dallas Observer's St. Patrick's Day Concert, a separate event at Greenville Avenue and University. Gates open at noon, and tickets are nearly sold out.

The protest starts at 9 a.m. Saturday and will likely feature a few dozen marijuana proponents sporting NORML shirts, hats, wristbands, flags, and signs. McAlister has advised them to be peaceful, but these are pot activists. Is there really any danger of them being otherwise?

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18 comments
LizMiller
LizMiller

DFW NORML doesn't want to advocate consumption of the weed at the parade. This is in stark contrast to the untold numbers of advertisements encouraging alcohol consumption that will surely be at the parade. DFW NORML merely advocates ending prohibition. There are many, many people who choose not to use cannabis but who oppose prohibition because of the harm it does to our society.  Why not let their voices be represented, as well?

There is zero evidence that DFW NORML has been anything but law-abiding, respectful and family-friendly at past events. They are being excluded not for their behavior, but for an OPINION (that prohibition does more harm than good) which is shared by half the population (and probably at least that much of parade attendees). 

The untold part of this story is the powerful hand of the alcohol lobby and the pressure it exhorts in favor of maintaining prohibition. Don't doubt that such forces are at play here, as well.

Government and elites will continue to discriminate against people and groups with this opinion as long as the general public allows them to do so and doesn't push back. If you disagree with the organizers' decision, please stand up for individual liberty by telling them so at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Greenville-Ave-St-Patricks-Day-Parade/115592275018.

THANK YOU, Observer, FOR COVERING THIS STORY.

usualsuspekt_99
usualsuspekt_99

Yeah, the organizers are great....they will drink until they puke green, pass out on the sidewalk and urinate on themselves....but the pot smokers, they are the real evildoers. 

aemerson24
aemerson24

Will there be any alcohol companies or bars that serve booze allowed to advertise with floats? If so I don't see why they would exclude NORML and not these companies as well alcohol isn't very family friendly. Statistics don't lie and around 60% of family violence cases involve someone being under the influence of alcohol and around 20% are drug related. 

Shaun McAlister
Shaun McAlister

On behalf of DFW Norml, thank you for giving our voice a chance to be heard. Herb's the word!

cynicaloldbastard
cynicaloldbastard

Probably more lobbying by Barry Andrews.  He doesn't want any more competition for the mind altering dollar.

kyndbrah
kyndbrah

congrats to the efforts of NORML but at 9am im gonna be enjoying my coffee and a heady bowl


iamshaun
iamshaun

Our goal is not to disrupt the St. Paddies Day Parade in any way. We wanted to have our 420 Truth Car and Hydro the NORML Boat as part of the parade to raise awareness about the harms of prohibition here in Texas, but our application was denied. 

They couldn't even send the denial email to the right email address, so we didn't know we weren't going to be allowed to participate until this week. Why is it that the group of "stoners" were able to follow protocol and file our application on time but the business behind this parade is responsible for the "stoner" mistake of emailing the wrong address?

We'll be attending and enjoying the parade as a large group of NORML, tax-paying, voting citizens disappointed by the fact that our non-profit organization was not allowed to participate in such an important community event. 

Big thanks to the Dallas Observer for publishing this article. 

GuitarPlayer
GuitarPlayer

I can always tell the narcs when they post. They know nothing about cannabis. 

Robert Nandez
Robert Nandez

Put one in the air, and puff on it like you dont care !!

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

seems many have not made the distinction between the parade and the Observer party. so here it is: the parade is for Mister Roger's Neighborhood, the Observer party is for the heathens.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

How can you celebrate the Emerald Isle without a wee bit 'o the green?

ruddski
ruddski

"Weed activist". That's a bit of an oxymoron.

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

They must be pissed.  It takes a serious level of anger to get pot advocates anywhere at 9am on a Saturday.

All kidding aside, it does seem like a pointless exclusion.  You cannot make St. Patrick's day truly family friendly.  Maybe Dr. Jeffers can come and be the Grand Marshall.  Unless he is busy helping people set up their home theater systems in the biblical way.

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