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Denton medical marijuana forum had high attendance

Denton medical marijuana forum had high attendance

Denton medical marijuana forum had high attendance
August 01
16:20 2018

People sat illuminated in a soft red glow from the lights at Dan’s Silver Leaf in Denton on Thursday as the second medical marijuana forum continued onward. Almost every chair set up for the forum was filled and attendees were so focused on the forum’s speakers that the clinks of empty glasses, quietly picked up at each table by bartenders, could be heard from across the room.

The forum began with Austin Zamhariri introducing each of the four keynote speakers, and then each speaker took to the mic and gave their take on medical marijuana.

The first speaker introduced was veteran Bobby Head of Blue Cord Farms, a farm that has 12 strains of marijuana.

“One of the main reasons why we do [these forums] is to get awareness out in Texas,” Head said.

After Head served 29 months in Iraq, he struggled with ways to fight his pain. As a way to cope, Head was drinking a fifth of whiskey, a 12-pack of beers and taking eight painkillers a day.

“[I] was yelling at my kids for God knows what, for just being children,” Head said. “I [started] to see a person I [did not] want to be.”

Head also struggled with transitioning back to everyday life after serving, but when his friend on Facebook suggested to Head that he try medical marijuana, things changed for the better.

“[After] a week and a half, I had no more pills, and I stopped drinking almost instantly,” Head said. “It wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy drinking — I did, but I’m talking about using drinking for medication.”

Not only did Head experience positive changes medically, he also said he experienced positive social changes with medical marijuana.

“All of a sudden I start being more kind to my wife,” Head said. “I was more kind to my kids — I was being a better father.”

Head ended his part of the discussion by encouraging people to vote.

“If you’re not changing your thought process as you grow older, you’re missing out on the beautiful things life can offer you,” Head said. “We have got to change things, and in order to change things, you have to vote. We got to vote.”

After Head finished speaking, Zamhariri introduced Andrew Morris, a progressive Democrat running for Texas House District 64.

Morris supports the legalization of medical marijuana as part of his platform.

“It’s not just 20 years of beliefs [of medical marijuana] that are out of date,” Morris said. “It’s 40 years of beliefs that we are having to overcome, and this is where we need the next generation, like myself, as a millennial, to step up and to start talking about these issues.”

Morris continued to speak about the benefits of the legalization of not only medical marijuana but also recreational marijuana. He talked about the issues of marijuana being a Schedule I drug, which means it is a highly restricted drug and is on the same level as heroin and methamphetamines.

“That means we cannot even study the benefits,” Morris said. “There are only three institutions across the U.S. that can study the effects of marijuana, and there is only one farm that even grows the marijuana that we can even test, and I’m sure I don’t have to tell anyone in this room there’s more than one garden variety of marijuana.”

Morris is also in support of rescheduling the drug to open up the possibility for scientific studies and releasing low-level, non-violent drug offenders.

Andrew Morris, a progressive Democrat running for Texas House District 64, speaking at the second medical marijuana forum at Dan’s Silver Leaf. Morris emphasized the advantages of medical and recreational marijuana. Emily Olkkola

Following Morris was Holt Davenport, CEO of Holistic Xtracts.

“I do promote medical cannabis here in the state of Texas because right now the people who really do need it are not able to do that, whether they’re scared legally or they just don’t know where to go,” Davenport said. “They don’t know the quality.”

Davenport also used other medications for pain but found that cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabis was the only thing that seemed to help his symptoms and anxiety. He started making products in his mom’s garage.

“I was really interested in it, and I just wanted to keep going and pushing and really show people what this plant can do for people,” Davenport said.

After trying CBD gummy bears at a gas station two years ago, Davenport did his research and found that there were no regulations for hemp oil in Texas.

“If you’re upfront and honest and show the state we’re in compliance, the steps to medical marijuana are going to be so much easier as far as that [and] making people more comfortable,” Davenport said. “That’s really what it is — getting people out of office and really changing the tone of Texas as far as cannabis is the number one concern because, again, it is just a plant that saves lives.”

After Davenport finished speaking, Zamhariri introduced Mark Tippets, Libertarian candidate for Texas governor.

His platform, much like Morris’, includes the legalization of marijuana and the pardoning of people locked up for non-violent crimes with marijuana.

“Contrary to what the Republican side or the Democrat side would like you to believe — that the other person started all of this — it has been started over 40 years ago,” Tippets said. “It has been perpetrated through 40 years, each one compounding it worse and worse and worse to the situation that we’re in today.”

Tippets also spoke about the struggles of attempting to break through a two-party system.

Mark Zartler was last on the lineup for keynote speakers.

Zartler went viral when he filmed a video of him illegally medicating his daughter with marijuana. Without it, his daughter goes through spells of uncontrollable self-harm, where she would punch herself in the face as hard as she could.

“We lived this hour-by-hour life for maybe seven years, and we measured our life in good hours and bad hours,” Zartler said.

Zartler found that marijuana worked better than CDB oil for his daughter. Even though he doesn’t smoke, Zartler advocates for medical marijuana legalization.

After Zartler was finished speaking, the floor was open to discussion and questions. There are plans for another medical marijuana forum to be held in the future.

Featured Image: Veteran Bobby Head of Blue Cord Farms speaking at the second medical marijuana forum at Dan’s Silver Leaf. Emily Olkkola

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Emily Olkkola

Emily Olkkola

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  1. Austin
    Austin August 03, 23:09

    Thank you for covering this Emily. It is unfortunate we didn’t meet, but I am in gratitude for the fine coverage. Feel free to contact Bobby or myself any time.

    Reply to this comment
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