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Sunday, January 12, 2014 - 12:15am
A new group in El Paso wants Texas to join Washington and now Colorado in legalizing marijuana.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws held their first meeting today, and called it a huge success. About 150 people showed up.
The organization met this morning and invited US Congressman Beto O'Rourke and state Senator José Rodriguez to speak at the meeting.
"It's time that we push the boundaries of what we consider normal," said Christopher Arenivar, who attended todays meeting.
NORML El Paso is trying to do just that. Their mission is to educate the public and legalize marijuana for recreational use.
"You know, it should be happening tomorrow, but it is probably going to take a few more years before we are able to realize it hear in El Paso," said Arenivar.
But not everyone agrees.
"I don't think most of us older people are for it, but most of us have never been exposed to it," said Jerry Williams.
Kevin Hill is a middle school teacher here in El Paso. He says things are going the wrong way.
"I would say over the last decade, it has gotten progressively worse and I think legalizing it and making it ok for adults to do would just send the wrong message to the kids,” Hill said. “I am completely against it."
Brander Craighead, says weed should be legalized and taxed, but like alcohol, safety needs to be considered.
"I’ve never seen anyone hurt themselves while high sitting on a couch. But i think driving while high is extremely dangerous and so they should find a way to make a law to protect against that," he explained.
Senator José Rodriguez says weed won't be legal in Texas any time soon, but would like to see something done to keep people caught with small amounts of the drug out of prison.
"I’m very interested in working on decriminalizing the small amounts and possession of marijuana so that we can avoid our young people being sent to prison,” Senator Reodriguez said.
Which NORML says is a start.
"it gives up hope to look for that change that is going to happen eventually," said Arenivar
The group says while opinions are diverse on the issue, they haven't received any backlash yet.
You can find more information about NORML and NORML El Paso on their Facebook page's.