Pubdate: Sun, 08 May 2016
Source: San Antonio Express-News (TX)
Copyright: 2016 San Antonio Express-News
Author: Martin Kuz


Some 100 people marched in San Antonio's second annual "marijuana 
march" to build support for grass-roots efforts to ease Texas 
marijuana laws and decriminalize pot use.

The event was hosted by the local chapter of the National 
Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Jesus Ramirez marched with a sign emblazoned with a cannabis plant 
and the words "Don't Fight. Make It Right. Legalize."

"I'm here because I think we need more compassion for people who are 
suffering," said Ramirez, 44, a former glazier who also uses cannabis 
to reduce pain from a neck injury that forced him to retire five 
years ago. "Marijuana helps people cope. Why would anyone be against that?"

During the three-mile march that began at Brackenridge Park and ended 
at Pink's Patio, Ramirez joined the crowd in chanting slogans, among 
them "The problem is the law, not the plant!" and "Free the weed for 
those in need!"

A new Texas law went into effect in January that allows people with 
intractable epilepsy to use cannabis oil for relief from seizures. 
Under the narrowly defined "compassionate use program," the state 
will start licensing dispensaries by June next year.

Dean Becker, a Houston radio show host for the Drug Truth Network and 
author of "To End the War on Drugs: A Guide for Politicians, the 
Press and Public," urged lawmakers to pass reforms to show mercy for 
those suffering in silence.

"So many people find relief from their pain with marijuana when 
nothing else works," he said. "We should find ways to make it easier 
for them instead of making their lives even harder."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom