By Camelia Juarez
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — A group pushing for the legalization of cannabis in Texas hosted an “open carry walk” in San Antonio Saturday afternoon.
Cannabis open carry walks have nothing to do with guns. The group hopes to promote recreational and medical cannabis freedom in Texas. From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the intersection of Rector and San Pedro Avenue, organizers handed out informational flyers on advocacy for marijuana freedom in Texas by 2019. The area was full of police officers around the intersection and North Star Mall. On scene, San Antonio Police officers said that the group did not have a permit to be on the scene, but they were expressing their freedom of speech.
Jeremy Simpson, who hosted the event explains how the event came about.
“I met with a group of people from Dallas and Houston. We all grouped together, we said we were tired of it and were gonna hold walks,” said Simpson.
Paul Espinoza, marijuana advocate, shared that he had to have his leg amputated and was heavily medicated and the side effects still brought pain.
“The pills were making me dysfunctional, not want to be around people, have anxiety and the pain was still there,” said Espinoza. “It didn’t make sense.”
Espinoza believes the legalization of marijuana would better medical options.
San Antonio was the first to kick off a state wide request on marijuana. There is scheduled to be 11 more cannabis open carry walks scheduled across Texas.
The group claims to be an “educational group” that provides information on how to take action by handing out flyers or banners and how to take action during 2019 legislature. In addition, these walks are expected to be regular two or three times a week, all over the state and in different cities.
The group claims to not be affiliated with any group or political party.
The protest was peaceful and lawful meaning there was no using, buying or selling of weed during the walk. Currently, Bexar Sherriff’s office announced their “cite-and release” program, allowing those found with less than four ounces of marijuana can be issued a citation.
In addition, medical use of marijuana is only legal for those with intractable epilepsy and only 15 doctors in the state can prescribe it. On Feb. 8, 2018 Texas opened its first medical marijuana dispensary in Austin. There are also three state approved dispensaries.
Several of these marches will be held across the country. For further dates on marches across Texas check the Cannabis Open Carry page on Facebook.
Featured image by Camelia Juarez.