Had to chuckle reading about this "event". Strange thoughts swirled around in my mind that if such conventions were to become regular local fare, Fort Worth would henceforth be known as the city of "Cowboys, Culture...and Cannabis" (gasp!) Perhaps that's not so far-fetched when Texas Country Music legend Willie Nelson has his personal brand/strain of cannabis sold legally in Colorado. His own legal problems surrounding his championing of the illegal weed are well documented. As a disclaimer, I'll reluctantly admit during my wild and woolly days of youth in the early 1970's I did take a toke or two but doubtful such an admission will excuse or preclude me from upcoming Jury Duty.
It also poignantly reminds me of the shock I felt during my childhood after finding out that some of my otherwise pious Protestant families members (among them even Church Deacons) had clandestine stashes of liquors hidden in ingenious places in their homes. At least I was spared the horrors of actually seeing them consume alcoholic beverages; that would have just been too much for my impressionable young mind to accept. But the ability to present a public image of virtuous propriety while having some secret vices has long been part of our Texas culture. I recall our now grown son bringing home a flyer handed out by some fringe religious group standing at the Tarrant County courthouse extolling the use of Marijuana as a sacrament of their faith. Might have worked to proselytize in some places but even here the definition of religious freedom has limits. Among the other handed-down tidbits of Cannabis related lore, I recall seeing an old newspaper clipping from the early 1950's when my then Police officer Dad was praised for busting some poor soul who had a single Marijuana joint found in a pants pocket. I don't recall the sentence handed down, but I do remember that until Texas laws were changed in the early 1970's possession of any measurable amount of pot when convicted, carried up to a 99 year sentence in state prison. Small wonder that expecting a more relaxed attitude by our State is unrealistic despite the fact that the K-2, which was legally sold for a while, is prevalent and arguably far more harmful to users than Cannabis. But at least in Texas, it's less of a health or scientific argument and more about overcoming old attitudes and cultural stigmas associated with it. At age 65, I seriously doubt Cannabis will be made legal in Texas during my lifetime. Perhaps the best and most enlightened development that could be hoped for is allowing a limited medical use under strict supervision. Our drug of choice in Texas is and will probably always be liquor (we still have dry counties and cities) despite the lives lost to DWI's as well as wrecked families and careers because of its legal use. I could make an argument that as State revenue coffers are dwindling due to low Oil prices, making Cannabis legal and heavily taxed in our state might make up for some of the revenue shortfall but again, it's more of a cultural-moral issue with a stigma from the past standing in the way of a more relaxed attitude from state legislators. It will take far more than a few "Cannabis" conventions to change that in my opinion.