JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — A group of pro-cannabis activists will rally on the intersection of University Parkway and State of Franklin Road all day Saturday in efforts to spark change surrounding cannabis legislature.
According to the Facebook event page, the event is part of a nationwide effort to raise awareness and knowledge in regard to cannabis and its uses, with over 30 other cities participating in the ‘It’s About Time Cannabis’ rally.
News Channel 11 spoke with one of the organizers, David Michael, who has been rallying for both the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis on a federal level for years.
Michael is an advocate and supporter on the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungment Act (MORE).
“It also decriminalizes on a federal level and that will unblock a lot of the red tape that’s preventing states from doing it, so a lot of the feedback we get at the state level is ‘well, on the federal level it’s still illegal,'” Michael said.
In late September, Rep. Phil Roe (R- Tenn.) will vote on the MORE Act, and the Democratic candidate hoping to fill his seat believes passing it would make quite the finale to his time serving Tennessee.
“Phil Roe has done a lot in his time,” Blair Walsingham said. “This could be a great way to end his legacy.”
Walsingham, hoping to take over the position to represent Tennessee’s 1st Congressional District, spent her afternoon on Saturday rallying with a handful of others hoping to raise awareness of the benefits of cannabis and its potential legalization — both recreational and medicinal.
“It would just be a huge economic boom that is much needed here in East Tennessee,” Walsingham said. “We’re talking about high-paying jobs — that includes cannabis.”
Also at Saturday’s rally was former Republic Congressional Candidate Nichole Williams, who stood side-by-side with Walsingham while sporting a sign that supports cannabis legalization.
“Genesis 1:21 gives us dominion over it — over ever seed-bearing plant — so, I think that it’s time for us to really start digging into it and looking up the research,” Williams said.