HOUSTON- Just say "NO" to prohibition. That’s the goal of a group of Houstonians who gathered in Spring Branch Saturday.
Now we’re not talkin’ booze, we’re talkin’ reefer- specifically medical Mary Jane.
This group of Republicans, Democrats and Independents wants to legalize medical cannabis and change the criminal penalties for marijuana possession. “I’m a veteran with PTSD, and my VA doctor strongly suggested that I use medical cannabis after I was diagnosed with PTSD. But there sent me here to Houston for my PTSD treatment and here, I’m now a criminal” explains Navy veteran, Romana Harding.
She’s not exaggerating. In the great state of Texas, four ounces of cannabis is felony, that’ll get ya’ six months in the “clink” plus a $10,000 fine.
There has been some progress in changing the laws. Cara Bonin, the Executive Director of Houston NORML gives us the 4-1-1, “The Compassionate Use Act was passed in 2015, and signed into law by Gov. Abbott. And what we are pushing for is expanding that bill to allow for doctors to be able to recommend any whole plant cannabis product for any reason he sees fit.”
But that’ll only happen if voters share their opinions with their elected officials. “In Texas to change marijuana laws, we have to do it at the state level, and that means that our state senator and state representative are in charge of creating the bill and the whole process. So it’s up to us as good Texans to be active voting constituents” says Jax Finkel, NORML's Executive Director.
“And I feel very passionate about changing the laws so myself and other veterans, as well and children and everyone can have access to this safe non-toxic, non-lethal medicine" says Harding.
To be 'blunt', this group believe their mission is ‘righteous’... but time’ll tell if they’re able to ‘blaze’ a path through the capitol.