Dallas Weed Activists Plan St. Paddy's Day Protest after Being Excluded from Parade

This weekend's Greenville Ave -- ahem, Dallas St. Patrick's Day Parade & Festival -- is supposed to be more "family friendly" than years past. It sounds ominous but, as we were assured in January, is more of a marketing thing than an effort to keep keep people from getting wildly, embarrassingly drunk.

Still, the new family-friendly policy seems to have claimed its first casualty: marijuana activists.

"The Greenville Avenue Area Business Association has decided not to allow DFW NORML to participate in their St. Paddies Day Parade in Dallas this Saturday because of what we stand for," Shaun McAlister, the group's executive director, wrote on Facebook last night. "Because of this, we hereby protest."

He added, on his personal account, that, "We come in peace, but we're pissed."

Parade spokesman Mauricio Navarro has promised a call back at the conclusion of this afternoon's pre-St. Paddy's Day press conference. We are waiting. But the NORML folks have taken to Facebook to note the absurdity of their exclusion on the page created for the protest.

"So, the same area that overserves people on a nightly basis, loading them up with booze for their drive home, hoping they don't hit and kill anyone is against a peaceful, respectful marijuana legalization group?" one gentleman asks. "That's rich."

Another wonders: "Is this the same parade on Greenville Avenue that SNOOP is a part of? If so how does ANY of them not allowing US in the parade add up? I am baffled."

In fact, it's not: Snoop Dogg is playing the Dallas Observer's St. Patrick's Day Concert, a separate event at Greenville Avenue and University. Gates open at noon, and tickets are nearly sold out.

The protest starts at 9 a.m. Saturday and will likely feature a few dozen marijuana proponents sporting NORML shirts, hats, wristbands, flags, and signs. McAlister has advised them to be peaceful, but these are pot activists. Is there really any danger of them being otherwise?

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