By Tristan Miller, with Ryan Javier
GRAPEVINE – The Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Grapevine abruptly shut down 2016 Lake and Bake fundraiser, hosted by DFW NORML. The Grapevine Police Department was asked to remove the vendors and attendees from Jackson Pavilion.
DFW NORML stated on DFW NORML’s Facebook page, “The best we can figure is that the manager on duty for the day at Rockledge Park simply didn’t want us there.” A video of the manager on duty, posted by Sierra M (YouTube handle: Sierra9019), shows a woman speaking with members of the 710 Lake and Bake event. The manager on duty claimed that “This event is getting shut down for two reasons: The person who set it up misrepresented what was going on, there’re too many people here, there are not enough restrooms, and the other reason is there are too many people smoking dope in the woods. So the police said to shut the whole thing down.” The manager briefly made her claim and left the scene.
In response, DFW NORML added on their Facebook post, “…the official reasons given by the police as to why they were shutting down our event were violations of our permit due.” Regardless the claims made by the police, it is apparent from the YouTube videos that the manager is not a sympathizer of cannabis culture/movement, and that she had assumed that “people were smoking dope in the woods.”
The 710 Lake and Bake events are DFW NORML’s largest fundraiser of the year.
As an activist group, DFW NORML must raise a lot of money to maintain their policy of free education to Texas Legislatures and Texas residents about the “truths, myths, and lies concerning marijuana”, stated on DFW NORML’s Facebook page. In addition, Brook Bailey also posted on DFW NORML’s page, “By shutting down this event, the City of Grapevine directly interfered with the ability of patients to get to Austin and testify for access to the whole plant.” Many people stated that the removal of the 710 Lake and Bake from the Rockledge Park was a violation of the attendees and event’s staff’s “freedom of assembly” and “freedom of speech”.
The DFW NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, has functioned as a non-profit organization since June 2005.
DFW NORML is “a grassroots, educational non-profit organization dedicated to fighting cannabis prohibition in the Lone Star State.” NORML supports the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes, responsible adult use, and the production of industrial hemp. Since the organizers of the 2016 Lake and Bake were shut down, they plan on rescheduling the fundraiser sometime in August or September, which will be later announced.
Shaun McAlister, Executive Director of DFW NORML, wrote on his DFW NORML post, “We’re very sorry that this has happened and are genuinely surprised that the city of Grapevine is treating us with such hostility. For those of you disappointed, please feel free to contact the Grapevine Parks & Rec[reation] department and let them know how disappointed you are with their director’s decision to shut down our peaceful, family-friendly event.” If you are upset about the 710 Lake and Bake being prematurely shut down, feel free to contact Grapevine City Hall 817-410-3000 with a respectful complaint about the park manager.
Editors Note: Infrared Magazine has made multiple attempts to reach out to DFW NORML and Mr. McAlister for comment, however, as of 3:00 p.m. CDT, July 11, 2016, our emails went unanswered. If and when the organization responds, we will update this article.