This past weekend, a marijuana expo came to Fort Worth, Texas. Many of the 6,000 attendees of the Fort Worth expo were deeply moved by some of the speakers there, and experts agree that events like this signal that “The Green Rush,” the name being given to the impending nationwide legalization of recreational pot, is coming.
As the Dallas Morning News points out, you would have been called crazy if you had proposed a pot convention in Fort Worth ten years ago. The reason is that Fort Worth is a conservative town in an even more conservative state, and insistence on legalizing marijuana was, until fairly recently, a concept not welcome in even the more progressive areas of the country.
Nowadays, though, publicly supporting recreational marijuana legalization is basically at the forefront of pop culture. Because of that fact, thousands of people from Fort Worth and the surrounding area happily flocked to the expo — technically called the “natural health-wellness and alternative convention” — in the Fort Worth Convention Center to prepare themselves for the day Texas repeals all anti-marijuana laws.
The general public were not the only ones to attend the expo in preparation for the Green Rush. Vendors also showed up in Fort Worth to peddle every kind of weed-related accessory known to man, from traditional bongs to discreet pipes designed to slide into your belt buckle to educational books.
The demand for events like this is definitely high, say experts, as legal pot use is the next huge pop cultural wave. Attorney Daniel Mehler spoke out on the hot topic.
“It’s going to be the next Internet. Texas needs to be ready. The Green Rush is going to happen.”
The Fort Worth event organizers told Fox that the expo would not only be about pot-related products; a main goal of the event was to shape both public and lawmaker perception of why pot laws are dated and more detrimental than anything.
Marijuana advocates are at the Fort Worth Convention Center this weekend for the Southwest Cannabis Conference pic.twitter.com/THxmWIASwW— Gabriel Roxas (@cbs11gabriel) February 27, 2016
At this point in time, Texas and Fort Worth’s penalties for being found in possession of pot are still harsh, but the vast majority of people predict that will change sooner than later. ABC reports that that consensus was strengthened by the myriad of exceedingly persuasive speakers to appear at the expo.
Take 10-year old Alexis Bortell, for example. The Fort Worth area native suffers from a form of epilepsy that she has found can only be treated through use of cannabis oil that is very high in THC, and which is illegal in Texas. Because of her plight, Bortell told her Fort Worth audience she had to move to Colorado, a state that has already embraced the Green Revolution.
“With all the arguing in Texas, I thought it was going to be a big deal, but it turns out it was just a brown oil in a glass bottle that smells like a skunk,” she went on.
Or look at John McMahon, former Chicago Bears quarterback, who said smoking weed made him feel physically better in all aspects of his life.
“I have arthritis pretty much in all my joints. My head problems have been pretty severe at times. [Marijuana] makes all that pain go away. I just forget about the pain.”
Although Fort Worth and Texas governments are proving to be a bit slower to sympathize with pot admirers like Borten and McMahon than are places like Colorado or Washington, they are slowly but surely getting the message.
Just last month, notes the Scoop, Fort Worth’s police ramped down the penalty for being caught with weed from an arrest to a ticket, and Texas’s Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law, the state’s branch of a national organization, continues to look at the issue.
Again, if pot can make it in Fort Worth, of all places, it will be able to make it anywhere.
2016: a great time to be a stoner.
[Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]