Texas Lawmakers Consider Medical Marijuana Legislation

Earlier this week Texas lawmakers held a public hearing on House Bill 594, a medical marijuana me163552_364131693697055_1037372801_nasure which would protect qualified patients in the state by adding an “affirmative defense”. This law, which is similar to affirmative defense laws in places like Washington State, gives individuals who receive an authorization from a physician a legal defense from prosecution. `

Although in this instance patients can still be technically prosecuted, it has to be done by a jury which explicitly ignores the state’s law. Given how high support is in the public for medical marijuana, the rate of prosecution in these instances are so low that in states like Washington, it’s effectively legalized medical marijuana, eventually leading to dozens of safe access points operating throughout the state. The proposal also adds firm arrest protection to physicians who recommend that their patients use medical marijuana.

The measure isn’t perfect, but is a huge step forward for Texas.

The measure currently sits in the Public Health Committee, where it remains pending. This means that, although time is running out, the bill is not dead, and may still receive a committee vote. If its approved, it’ll head towards a full House vote.

Those in Texas should urgently contact the members of this committee (which you can find by clicking here), asking them to support this measure.

TheJointBlog

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    • C.Hernandez on January 25, 2014 at 9:21 pm
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    I totally agree to legalize marijuana. My son is 26 years old. He has been on so many seizure medication and it seems as if they are just guessing and using him as a test subject. But when he was young he started using marijuans and oh my God it make a remarkable difference in his seizures. His concentration was much better and he had an appetitie again. When he was young the medication changed his behavior and I was constantly in court and paying fines for disrupted behavior in school. But like I said the marijuana really helped him. He finished high school and went to trade school and graduated. But because he is now on probatin for having marijuana. And he keeps failing his drug tests. But when he stopped using marijuana his seizures went out of control. Broken nose, his face was so bad you couldnt even recognize him. So he began smoking and now probation is going to revoke him and my son is going to jail. HELP! In jail they wont care if he is seizing or not. He will not get the proper care he needs. He is going into the hospital 2/14 for his seizure study and once he gets out they are putting him in jail for the probation violation of dirty drug test. He will not be able to follow up with his doctor or have the surgery if it is recommended. I truely believe if a Politician had a child or loved one who was ill and marijuana helped them it would have already been legal. But because they dont face what so many of us do, it seems like it will be a huge challenge to save are loved ones. So I agree it does need to be legal and i am living proof because I see it every day.

    • Anonymous on November 11, 2013 at 3:13 am
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    currently waiting for a sentence for less then two grams I used to think a lot of of people were using the med thing as an excuse until I had a stroke

    • Alan Dombrowsky on September 12, 2013 at 9:11 pm
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    If Texas doesn’t legalize soon I will be moving like a lot of other people. Why would anyone want to stay in a place where peoples way of thinking is so primitive that they would jail innocent people for something God created. Texans know better than God? I thought people heread faith. my faith in humanity is really dwindling. Jail 60000 people a year for something safer than alcohol. lets let kids keep dying from smoking. spice. that’s better than smoking the real thing and at the worst getting hungry and happy. Texas is horrible they are 50 years behind no everything. and they are proud of that it seems. I’m gonna go smoke now, hopefully I don’t get killed by a cop for it.

    • Tim C. on August 24, 2013 at 3:21 pm
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    I am epileptic and with the legal use of medical marijuana spreading across the country I know that there is hope for me. I’m sharing my story so that there is even more proof out there of what marijuana can do.
    I don’t smoke marijuana right now but when I was smoking it for 5 years I had no seizures at all, but then I stopped smoking. I didn’t want to get thrown in jail. I have been on expensive anti-seizure meds since I gave it up and I still have had 3 grand mal seizures and more than 20 partial seizures in the 5 years since I stopped smoking.
    I was in a bad car accident in 1998 at age 22. I had brain trauma and was in the hospital for 6 weeks. The doctors told me that I might start having seizures in the future and at 24 I started having partial seizures. They were minor but they scared me. I have never been closer to suicide than I was during one of these seizures.
    In 2003, I moved to San Marcos, TX to go to college at Texas State University and started smoking marijuana with roommates regularly. I usually smoked less than 1-2 small bowls(in a pipe) of the cheap, weak type of marijuana per day. I didn’t have any seizures while I was in college at TSU and for several years after graduation in 2006.
    In the spring of 2008 I started dating a woman that didn’t like marijuana. I went from smoking that small amount to an even smaller amount of 1 bowl every 2 days or so. I had a grand mal seizure at work. I woke up in the hospital with a black eye from hitting the floor. I went to a neurologist and he sent me to get an MRI on my brain. I had scar tissue in my brain from the car accident that was causing the seizures. I was put on Trileptal, an expensive anti-seizure drug. The side effects of this drug didn’t seem to bother me at first. I knew that marijuana had been helping me but the risks were too high so I didn’t use it very much and would soon quit smoking it all together. I eventually broke up with that girl and in 2009 I met my wife to be. She didn’t like marijuana either and was even more against me smoking it than the other woman was. I loved her so I eventually gave up marijuana before we got married in late 2009.
    My dosage of Trileptal has been increased over time. The side effects that didn’t bother me at first now cause problems. I have also been put on another anti-seizure drug, Dilantin. These two medications cost more than $600 per month. I hate life sometimes when the side effects are really harsh. There is a good chance that these dosages will keep being increased over time, meaning this cost will increase. Every time my meds are increased or another one is added more side effects always follow.
    My wife has changed her views on marijuana and is in favor of me using it but there are laws that make no sense still keeping me from what I need. Marijuana is a simple plant that is grown out of the earth and with no refining or additions needed it has already been proven to help me so much. I can grow it myself and spend a lot less than the $600 per month that the meds cost. Medical grade marijuana is much more potent than the cheap, weak stuff that I used to smoke. Medical marijuana will help me in a better way than what has already worked so well.
    In the hard times we are living through doesn’t it make sense to let humans decide from the options? I can either continue to destroy my body that has been damaged by years of using these meds with their side effects or I can choose to let nature help me. I can continue to spend $600 per month on these meds or I can spend that money supporting my family and helping the economy grow. This madness has to stop and medical marijuana needs to be allowed to help the people that need it. TC 8/2013

    • big poppa toon on August 6, 2013 at 2:25 pm
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    RIGHT ON

    • big poppa toon on August 6, 2013 at 2:22 pm
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    i belive that this mesure is a step for us as a people , life liberty and the pursute of happiness
    i suffer with cronic head pains no amount of meds these doctors wanna give you don’t help me.
    But when i smoke i feel worlds better i can go through out my day peasefully and without ! PAIN!

    please can you, will you consider the mesure that is at hand
    cause while your job is to do what is best ….. CONSIDER OUR OPINION CAUSE IT’S OUR BODIES NOT YOURS
    LET US DECIDE!!!!!!!!!.

    • Shane Watson on May 10, 2013 at 9:57 am
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    The Medical Marijuana movement has been growing in numbers and it is spreading across the country..I have eaten marijuana for fifteen years. it helped me a lot..I tried everything for pain.Really It is amazing..

    • Anonymous on May 3, 2013 at 12:33 pm
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    This measure will be economically and medically beneficial to Texas.
    Please support the legalization of medical marijuana.

    • Toni on May 3, 2013 at 11:31 am
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    I am asking you all to help the Medical patient here in Texas TODAY by sharing the following information! Please SHARE~CALL Texas REPRESENTATIVE KOLKHORST at 512/463-0600 Thank her for the hearing and request they Vote on HB 594 to move forwards! It is only AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE for Patients and if not voted on by May 6th, will die in Session and we won’t have another shot until 2015~ THANK YOU! You may also email them at the addresses below. Make sure to fill in their name and your information at the bottom.

    Representative Lois Kolkhorst – Chair Woman – lois.kolkhorst@house.state.tx.us
    Representative Elliott Naishtat – Vice Chair / Author of HB 594 –
    Representative Garnet Coleman – garnet.coleman@house.state.tx.us
    Representative Sarah Davis – sarah.davis@house.state.tx.us
    Representative Philip Cortez – philip.cortez@house.state.tx.us
    Representative Robert Guerra – bobby.guerra@house.state.tx.us
    Representative Susan King – susan.king@house.state.tx.us
    Representative Jodie Laubenberg – Jodie.laubenberg@house.state.tx.us
    Representative Nicole Collier – Nicole.collier@house.state.tx.us
    Representative Bill Zedler – Bill.Zedler@house.state.tx.us
    Representative J.D. Sheffield – j.d.sheffield@house.state.tx.us

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