Thankful For Marijuana Moxie in Texas

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director November 22, 2012

    Beyond the obvious blessings of good health, being a member of loving families, living in a free country and pursuing one’s muse, on this Thanksgiving…I’m thankful for Zachariah Walker (a member of University of North Texas NORML) and his pro bono team of Texas lawyers from NORML’s Legal Committee.

    In the wake of our recent elections, where voters in the states of Colorado and Washington have chosen to end cannabis prohibition, I’m thankful that Zack has the moxie in Denton, Texas to face down a possible six month prison sentence for the criminal charge of possessing two grams of cannabis. I’m thankful that when confronted with a plea bargain (which is how 90% or more of cannabis-related cases are legally dispatched from the criminal justice system), Zach just said no.

    I’m thankful that NLC members David Sloane, Jamie Spencer and Jamie Balagia possess equal moxie and commitment to personal freedom by stepping into the breech by providing Zack with pro bono representation in challenging such a ridiculous waste of the local government’s resources and taxpayer dollars: Tens of thousands of tax dollars, in the middle of crushing recession and tight municipal budgets, to arrest, prosecute, pee test and incarcerate a young man for 180 days, who, should otherwise be working, spending money and therein adding taxes to society.

    With over 750,000 annual cannabis-related arrests in America (approximately 90% for possession only), if more citizens charged with cannabis possession offenses regularly challenged their arrest and possible conviction, like the way Zach is in Texas, there is no doubt that the criminal justice system in many cities and counties across the country will come to a grinding halt—forcing both bureaucrats and elected officials to re-evaluate and likely support at a minimum cannabis ‘decriminalization’, possibly legalization.

    With these crucially important changes of law and custom pending in Colorado and Washington regarding ending all criminal sanctions for adults who possess a little bit of ganja, citizens charged with minor cannabis-related offenses and their legal counsel from around the country can and now should challenge more and more of these petty cannabis charges—juxtaposing and educating judges and juries all along the way that in some parts of the country the ‘offense’ before them is not only no longer a crime in some states, the product is actually regulated and taxed.

    How much longer will cannabis prohibition last in America?

    Not much longer if we all demonstrate the moxie of Zach and his NLC legal team.





    40 Responses to “Thankful For Marijuana Moxie in Texas”

    1. John says:

      Let’s go, Zack! Thanks, David Sloane, Jamie Spencer and Jamie Balagia. You guys rock!

    2. I know the DFW NORML group has been very active in this case. I’m thankful I’ve got to know many of their members online.

    3. James says:

      Rooting for Zach and team. Much respect. Keep us apprised with an Update when possible, if possible.

      My Best!


    4. Craig says:

      If they ever catch me, I’ll surely go ahead and fight it! I’m 49 & retired, so I’ve got the time, no job to lose, and some resources for the fight if needed. This madness has got to stop!

    5. Warren Osborn says:

      I’ve been saying this for many years.

    6. Anonymous says:

      Finally. Lets all grow a pair.

    7. no says:

      Denton is renowned for its incredibly low success rate of probation and its outright scamming for profit in the local prison. They tend to revoke most probationers opting to profit off the convicted twice over: both in probation fees and their prison work program. The prison concession is also owned by the wife of the sheriff, I believe? A friend of mine once did a stint there over a similar, small possession charge. The way minor drug offenses are turned into profiteering by private industry and government in the prison system throughout this country is beyond deplorable.

    8. Joel: the other Joel says:

      To pressure an individual to falsely confess to guilt; just to make it easier for the ambitious prosecutor, is insane and unjustifiable. Such a proposition most often leads to death if they want to use the victim to do some risky business for the cops on unrelated matters.
      There will be no fancy police funeral or any show of respect of heroism for the poor soul.

    9. Ending prohibition is a opportunity for a lot of people to be recognized as innovators. Its happening faster that anybody ever dreamed.

      Thanks NORML

    10. Excuse me,,,, Ending cannabis prohibition

      Thanks again NORML

    11. Matt says:

      A big round of applause is due for Zachariah Walker for having the courage to stand up for his inherent rights as a human being! It is an absolute disgrace and blatant display of ignorance by the Texan government to waste taxpayer dollars and to infringe upon the rights of a productive citizen by charging him on the cause of — yes, I believe I read that right — 2 grams of cannabis!! This is absolute madness and I hope issues like this become more transparent to the American public, so that we can collectively reach the consensus that marijuana prohibition is not favorable for our economy, liberty, unity, and wellbeing in general!

      My best go out to Zach and all of the other proponents of this movement that are staying strong for what they believe in.

    12. claygooding says:

      For the first time you can add thanks for beginning of the end of hemp prohibition and ending imprisoning anyone for having a plant given by Him.

      If anyone raises an eye brow or says anything the least bit negative,look them dead in the eye and say “”2 down,,,48 to go.

      Every year until we can take the federal government out of protecting corporate incomes from market challenges from hemp and the prohibition driven industries we can end the prayer with the count.

      anyone for a lottery pot? :<)

      PS:It would be great if this is the shortest tradition in history.

    13. Yes Texans stand behind that Man
      Make your voices heard
      Do we need to start a legal defense fund
      to help others?

    14. Mike88 says:

      If all potential juries would simply learn about Jury Nullification and simply elect to Nullify the law itself by voting Innocent of all charges relating to cannabis possession and use we would not have this problem at all, Prosecutors will only attempt to prosecute somebody if they believe they have a good chance of winning. If juries refuse to convict people for cannabis possession or use, then they will stop prosecuting people for these non-crimes.

    15. Judy says:

      Best of Luck Zachariah Walker!!! I admire your guts! Thank you for standing up to the moronic bastards that would have you locked away! Surely it is they that deserve to be locked away…

    16. Galileo Galilei says:

      Courageous! Thanks to NLC

      “… a ridiculous waste of the local government’s resources and taxpayer dollars: Tens of thousands of tax dollars, in the middle of crushing recession and tight municipal budgets, to arrest, prosecute, pee test and incarcerate a young man for 180 days, who, should otherwise be working, spending money and therein adding taxes to society.”—This sums it up nicely. You should also add the employment opportunities lost forcing a young person onto the public dole.

    17. M.SebastianPatrick says:

      Everyone boycott Texas already!

    18. claygooding says:

      Mike88,,even if you are called to jury duty and the rest of jury refuses to nullify the charges,,a hung jury by refusing to convict creates more expense to tax payers if the prosecution decides to try for another conviction and when that happens often enough,,prosecutors will be hesitant to take defendants to trial.

    19. james says:

      This guy is lucky he didn’t do this 2 years later :) the way the laws in Texas are now,in 2 years we maybe executing cannabis users…. Cant screw with Texas bunch of Bible thumping gun carrying republicans

    20. Anon. says:

      I don’t understand how Texans can call themselves God fearing, and I’m not quite sure how people who want the plant eradicated can be called “Bible Thumpers.” This plant was given to us by the Good Shepherd for many, many purposes. And people who want it to not only be destroyed, but have the lives of everyone who decides that it’s okay destroyed as well, are not only non-Christians, but are evil. Texans, please read the WHOLE book, not just the parts you agree with. That’s like a mechanic deciding that a step in changing the oil is unneeded, then wondering why his car/truck is sputtering black smoke. They say everything’s bigger in Texas; apparently this rule doesn’t stop with outright stupidity.

      BTW, don’t get me wrong. I’m in TN, but I love Texas. It’s their overzealous attitude towards too many things that makes me never – EVER – want to even stop there for gas. CO and WA, on the other hand, will be getting the most of my vacation $$ come next year when the cafes go up. I’ll probably visit with my girlfriend, a few of her family/friends, my brother and a few cousins, aunts and uncles. So open up those registers CO and WA state; you’re about to get a butt-load of cash just from us. 😀

    21. Undead Ed says:

      Keep up the good fight we are winning this and we will win!

    22. Can you say Jury nullification ? Check out FIJA and NHJury.com

      Learn how good jurors nullify prohibition laws.

    23. C says:

      Keep fighting the good fight. The walls are cracking.

    24. dk says:

      It has always been about the money. That’s why it evolved to include forfeitures.

    25. Billy joe Jim bob says:

      I live in Texas.
      Uneducated hicks don’t mix with politics, law enforcement, or any other type of managerial positions.
      But yes, there are a lot of counties here renowned for using the interstates as cash registers. Denton, Cleburn, Smith, just to name a few.
      Want to win a copy right case? Are you the Plantif? East Texas is the place for you.

      The movie Rush was based off the book Smith Coutny Justice.

    26. Tlc says:

      They need to legalize it in TX so that there is a better choice for all the toothless meth heads here…just saying.

      Seriously, I wonder how awareness of jury nullification would work in TX when they always ask you if you are capable of upholding the law, that changing it is for the legislators, like Lamar Smith, and any talk by the jury to the contrary is reported to the judge.
      Course they pick and choose thru the jury cards to begin with…the retired people serve over and over.

    27. Skitskats says:

      Remember now Texas was where Timothy Leary beat them on Double Jeapordy on the old Marijauna stamp tax act law Of course they wanted to give him 30 years for two joints back then! But that’s Texas for You Has ine of the highest crime rates in the nation Keeping good old fashion ill-will greed intolerance & contempt alive in the 21st century God-Damn Texas!!!

    28. Ebony says:

      I have a cousin fighting a case for under a gram. Texas needs to wake up and start profiting off the sales of marijuana. that $$ could be used to fund a failing school district or feed hungry families

    29. Sam T. says:

      We are free people, we are law obeying and the FED has turned against us. It’s insane that a good kid can be publicly humiliated, locked away, and placed on probation, fined, and pissed tested for 2 grams of pot. Yeah lets ruin a poor kids future because he smokes a little weed in college. Pure insanity! Law enforcement prays on young adults their ruining our future.

    30. amfortas says:

      ‘m in Texas. Yes, we’re pretty stupid.
      Potheads should take a page from the Gay Rights Movement…come out of the closet. Just like it’s harder to hate Queers if you know a few Homosexuals…it’s similarly, harder to hate on Potheads if your Brother/Dad/Cousin/Co-Worker, partakes of the Noble Weed.

    31. Swedesrule66 says:

      Here in Texas the law enforcement is still saying the sky is falling. You just can’t argue with ignorance!

    32. ali says:

      I’m in Cali and very thankful for the liberal medicinal cannabis laws. The puritanical hypocrisy of anti cannabis laws is staggering. All while supporting alcohol which kills 40K people yearly and tobacco that kills millions yearly…

    33. ali says:

      I’d sell texas back to mexico for a dollar…

    34. ANON says:

      This scares the crap out of me! I’m a CO res and mmj patient (mmj cuts my narcotics needs in 1/2), but spend months at a time in this area of TX. I have to wonder, if I were arrested with a couple grams, in my condition would they really put me away? And then after that revoke my ability to get a red card in other states?
      You have to understand, that until a few years ago, there was actually a dry county/town within minutes of Denton — these people have no logic.
      I am so happy there are people there who are willing to help. I have an acquaintance in a suburb over from Denton whose dr. refuses to prescribe his medications if he tests + for mj, so he uses the legal garbage herbs from the head shops to help with his pain — and the only reason that crap helps is because it makes you completely incoherent, so you don’t remember your pain (or any other aspect of life).

    35. Jessie says:

      I am from Denton Texas. I love my state, and I am very proud of our rich history. I allso support every orginization there is trying to end prohibition. Like the rest of you, I to am held hostige when it comes to marijuana. I am allso a republican. I even where a cowboy hat and boots. I would do about anything I could to end this madness, short of trashing my state. I am Texan and proud of it.

    36. john says:

      I was told in galveston texas the jail contract is funded by keeping the jail 70% full. so we just run around with drug dogs at playground and kids birthday partys to see who may have been around drugs. then go break up a family. just to have a big new jail that me must not need if we are doing this sad time to live in texas.and now texas is putting up a wall around the state so soon all of texas can be in jail.

    37. David Black says:

      I have been standing in front of this man since the 1960’s as Hemp grower’s have since 1930. Unbelievable that it has taken this long for States citizen’s to stand up and say enough is enough million’s of family’s killed over reform, billion’s of dolars spent to control something that God put here as a natural healer for the world as well as being all organic and goes back to the earth to heal it as well. deplorable that it has taken this long for law to be changed now not later! geez!!!.

    38. Ryan says:

      I live in San Antonio and have been on the governments form or “Marinol”. I can validly judge the difference between fake pills and real Mary Jane. There is a huge difference besides the legality. I will state that I do smoke pot but only for medical reason and it’s a lot better/stronger then this Marinol stuff. Texas NEEDS to catch up with the rest of this country and legalize this wonderful drug! Did you know there are still confused individuals that think marijuana has harmful side effects? Alcohol is more harmful and it’s 100% legal for anyone 21+! I even read an article by the state representative here in Texas that paraphrases marijuana causes severe health risks and legalization would cause car accidents to go up. Ha! Are you kidding me? Most stoned people I know rarely ever leave the couch when under the influence!

    39. Joshua Kirpach says:

      Does anyone have an update on weather or not zac was convicted? i am facing a similar charge in Denton, Texas. I’m 23 work hard and support my family on a $10 an hour wage. It is my first time getting in trouble with the law in Texas and they are telling me i may not be eligible for a pretrial diversion program. I was considering going to trial as well.

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