Pubdate: Fri, 13 Nov 2015
Source: Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX)
Copyright: 2015 Fort Worth Star-Telegram


Twenty Three States Allow Medicinal Use of Marijuana.

Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy launched a campaign Wednesday 
hoping to bring awareness to veterans' need for responsible marijuana 
use for service-related injuries.

The campaign, named "Operation Trapped,"  aims to "collect a single 
used prescription bottle from every state veteran who wants a safer 
alternative"  and present the collection of bottles at a news 
conference on Veterans Day 2016 in Austin.

The coalition includes multiple chapters of the National Organization 
for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and other groups.

This campaign casts a new light on a much bigger topic that NORML 
represents: moving public opinion "sufficiently to achieve the repeal 
of marijuana prohibition so that the responsible use of cannabis by 
adults is no longer subject to penalty."

Currently, only four states and Washington, D.C., have legalized 
marijuana use, but 23 states allow medicinal use of marijuana. Texas 
isn't one of them.

But Texas NORML and partners are trying to baby-step their way toward 
allowable marijuana. They're looking for moves that will be tolerable 
for even the conservative, Tea Party-influenced Legislature.

Focusing on approachable topics like veterans' healthcare and using 
them to educate the public on responsible cannabis use is a smart way 
for the organization to approach its goals.

And it is working.

This year, the use of cannabis oil as treatment for intractable 
epilepsy was made legal, although the Legislature stressed this was a 
tiny allowance of medicinal marijuana use.

"This is kind of like the difference between grape juice and 
wine,"  state Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, a nurse who helped 
write the Texas Compassionate Use Act, told the Star-Telegram. "And 
we are legalizing grape juice."

Also this year, House Bill 507, which would have changed the 
punishment for minor marijuana possession (one ounce or less) from a 
criminal to a civil offense, passed the House Criminal Jurisprudence 
Committee 4-2. But the bill didn't reach the full House before the 
session ended.

That bill is dead, but there's creeping change in the movement toward 
responsible use of marijuana.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom