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Petition kickoff for marijuana decriminalization held at Denton Square

Petition kickoff for marijuana decriminalization held at Denton Square

Petition kickoff for marijuana decriminalization held at Denton Square
February 21
12:04 2022

Decriminalize Denton and other local groups came together on the square Saturday to hold a kickoff for a petition that would put decriminalization of marijuana on the ballot this fall.

The event attracted several groups, including the university’s chapter of the Student for Sensible Drug Policy, GroundGame TX and a few local politicians.

“We needed to be here to listen to the voices of Dentonites and residents all over the place so we can understand what we need to do to make sure that we affirm the freedoms and rights we all deserve,” Denton City Council candidate Brandon McGee said during a press conference held on the steps of the courthouse.

The half-hour press conference opened the event and had notable speakers including Denton City Council member Deb Armintor. There were also speakers closely connected to the cause, like Chris Brazolio, a man whose son died from epilepsy after he was unable to get access to medical marijuana treatment due to fear of breaking the law.

“I push this subject because I don’t want anyone else to have to wake up every single day and feel what I feel — the loss of someone you love because of a needless law based in lies,” Brazolio said.

Stories like Brazolio’s were shared throughout the event in an attempt to highlight the impact criminalization may have on citizens who could be using marijuana or other CBD products to help with medical conditions.

“My mother has cancer and my father is disabled, so I am really pushing for cannabis decriminalization because they really suffer a lot,” said Madison Powers, co-owner of Green Goddess Revival, a delta-8 dispensary. “My dad has a problem with OxyContin. That’s a horrible drug and so we’re trying to do this for people like him and my parents and help them.”

This event is the first of several that will be held before the April deadline for the ballot measure’s 3,000 signature goal. Organizers were seen around the event with clipboards filled with open signature slots.

“We want to get as many signatures as possible,” said Jeannate Mckenzie, vice president of the university’s Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter. “I think just the petitions that we brought […] had 160 slots for signatures. I would love to get all of those filled.”

If passed, the ballot measure would decriminalize any class A or B misdemeanors for possession of marijuana, similar to an ordinance that was attempted back in November by Armintor.

“I wasn’t too sure what to expect because while we’ve been planning all of our ballot initiative things, it took a long time for us to actually get permission to be here on the square,” Mckenzie said. “I think this was pretty great, I saw a lot of people coming and going as well as a good core amount of people that stayed here throughout the whole event.”

McGee said he hoped the kickoff would be a strong foundation for a push to get the issue onto the ballot as quickly as possible.

“Every pouring of the cement in the foundation now continues to help so we can stand and build on that platform,” McGee said.

Featured Image: Denton City Council candidate Brandon McGee speaks at the Decriminalize Denton ballot petition kickoff event on Feb. 19, 2022. Photo by Ayden Runnels.

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Ayden Runnels

Ayden Runnels

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