By: Will Kenneally (reporter) and Vera Rosenbeck (photojournalist)
A rainy saturday did not deter people from coming out to Library Mall over the weekend. Eric Marsch, a member of the advocacy group NORML braved the downpour, for a mission.
“We’re out here every year, collecting petition signatures, selling merch and trying to get more people involved with the movement,” Marsch says.
Marsch and his group are pushing for full legalization of recreational and medical cannabis.
For those like eleven-year-old Norah Lowe, that policy push is personal.
“I’ve had seizures that would not stop, my muscles get really tight and it is really really painful,” Lowe says.
She shared her struggles with Rhett Syndrome. Her parents say she was a vivacious child before the neurological disorder took control over her body movements.
“We feel that having full medical cannabis legislation here will be able to take that next step to control her seizures naturally,” says Megan Lowe, Norah’s mother.
A bill to let the Lowes use medical cannabis is currently tied up in the Republican-controlled state Legislature.
Republican Senator Patrick Testin supports the measure, but he says the bill will be a hard sell in a Republican caucus.
“They’re not supportive, and they have a number of reasons and concerns,” Testin says.
On the Assembly side, Speaker Robin Vos says he would be open to considering medical marijuana, but the wavering in the Senate leaves the bill’s future unclear.