Category Archives: Press Release

Texas Veterans and Medical Marijuana Advocates to Host News Conference

Event will feature new mobile billboard, bring attention to Rep. Pete Sessions’ interference with beneficial legislation that would protect state medical marijuana programs and improve access for veterans

* Photo opportunity at event; billboard image included below *

DALLAS, Texas — Military veterans and medical marijuana advocates will host a press conference on Friday in support of a recently launched mobile billboard and bring attention to federal legislation that could help veterans gain access to medical marijuana. The event, which is taking place in Anderson Bonner Park in Dallas at 11 a.m. CT on the observation of Veterans Day (November 10), is also meant to pressure Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Dallas) to stop interfering with marijuana-related federal budget amendments. Speakers will include a number of military veterans, including Keith Crooks, a retired Air Force Major.

In September, Rep. Sessions spearheaded an effort in the House Rules Committee that resulted in two marijuana policy amendments being ruled “out of order”: one that would allow Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors to discuss or recommend medical marijuana to their patients and another that would continue to prevent the Department of Justice from prosecuting medical marijuana patients and providers in states where it is legal. This deprived the rest of the House from considering these amendments, including representatives from Texas whose constituents could be affected by their absence from the FY2018 budget.

“As a registered Republican, I would like to remind Congressman Sessions that the Republican Party of Texas supports state-level access to medical cannabis,” said Keith Crooks, a retired Air Force Major and forensic scientist. “We believe that it is our state’s right to offer this important medical freedom to our citizens. Therefore, Congress should respect states’ rights and allow them to regulate cannabis as they see fit.”

Presently, VA doctors are not permitted to discuss medical marijuana with their patients, forcing many veterans to go to other doctors in order to learn about it or obtain a recommendation that would allow them to participate in a medical marijuana program. This policy can limit their treatment options to powerful, potentially addictive prescription drugs, and causes financial and other hardships for those veterans who seek out non-VA providers.

“Cannabis replaces half of the eight pharmaceutical drugs I take regularly and should be legal for medical use,” said Juliet Giglio, a third-generation military veteran who lives in Rep. Sessions’ district. “It is unacceptable that our federal government, including my own congressman, would have veterans and other patients suffer while there is a better, safer alternative.”

Advocates are currently encouraging Texans to contact their lawmakers, Rep. Sessions, and Rep. John Culberson (R-Houston) to urge them to help veterans and protect state rights regarding medical marijuana. Rep. Culberson is a member of the congressional appropriations conference committee that will make the final determination of whether to include the marijuana amendments in the budget bill this year.

“Texas veterans are standing up against propaganda and in support of cannabis as a viable alternative to dangerous and addictive opiates and psychotropics,” said David Bass, a retired Army Major.

WHAT: Press conference to highlight recently launched mobile billboard in support of veterans who could benefit from medical marijuana and call attention to Rep. Pete Session’s interference with federal legislation that could help them

WHEN: Friday, November 10 at 11 a.m. CT

WHERE: Anderson Bonner Park, 12000 Park Central Drive, Dallas

WHO: Keith Crooks, U.S. Air Force Major (ret.)
Amanda Berard, veteran and pediatric nurse
Juliet Giglio, veteran
Joshua Raines, veteran with intractable epilepsy
Representatives of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy

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Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy is a broad coalition of organizations, activists, and community leaders dedicated to realizing effective, efficient, and evidence-based marijuana policies in Texas. For more information, visit https://www.TexasMarijuanaPolicy.org.

Cannabis is Medicine, Claim Pro Athletes at upcoming Southwest Cannabis Conference & Expo

Cannabis is Medicine, Claim Pro Athletes at upcoming Southwest Cannabis Conference & Expo
Celebrities in Support of Cannabis, Southwest Cannabis Conference & Expo Montell Williams, David Fowler, Marvin Washington, John Salley and many more.

Originally Published Here By Marketwired – Apr 11, 2017

FORT WORTH, TX—  NFL players and other pro athletes gather in Fort Worth at the Southwest Cannabis Conference & Expo to proclaim cannabis is medicine. The event, scheduled for April 21-23, will be held at the Fort Worth Conference Center.

The future of medical marijuana is bright and opportunities abound. NFL and other pro sports are the next battleground. With Jerry Jones and Jeff Sessions acknowledging and accepting medical marijuana, the future is clear.

As de-criminalization of cannabis spreads across Texas, debates continue in governing bodies about how medical marijuana will be responsibly implemented, and if and when other adult use occurs. This is potentially an economic opportunity that hasn’t been seen since the oil boom. For three days over the weekend of April 21-23rd in the Fort Worth area, the American cannabis industry and national experts will discuss how to capitalize on this trend. Even Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones is a part of the discussion as we’ve now heard.

Texas is widely considered to be one of the most lucrative emerging cannabis markets. The Lone Star State has a burgeoning cannabis industry that’s on the cusp of becoming one of the biggest U.S. markets.

This event features a line-up of celebrities, former pro football players, medical professionals and more, all working cohesively to bring about increased cannabis awareness.

The Conference is three packed days of cannabis information, education and networking, including a major expo with 125 exhibitors. Accredited Comprehensive Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoid Medical Cannabis Training (https://swccexpo.com/texas/accredited-cannabis-education). Also, a Women & Cannabis Business Seminar entitled “Stories and Steps from Women in Business” – Getting Started Series” hosted by Genifer Murray, Cannabis Pioneer and Story Simon, former President of Overstock.com. (https://swccexpo.com/texas/women-cannabis-business-seminar)

At a special event on April 21, join Marvin Washington, Boo Williams, Darren Long and many more athletes and medical professionals on the discussion of cannabis and NFL at http://proathletesprocannabis.com.

To watch an interview with Marvin Washington on ABC, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDc3_vZnlHo

Come see what the new world of cannabis will become in the foreseeable future. Even more important is to learn about this business opportunity, which is still in its infant stages. Come to Fort Worth as the American cannabis industry spends a weekend in Texas to explore this emerging trend.

For additional information go to: http://SWCCExpo.com.
Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas
2nd Annual Southwest Cannabis Conference & Expo
April 22 – 23, 2017
Fort Worth Convention Center
Fort Worth, Texas

ProAthletesProCannabis.com

Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame_mw?attachid=3128435

Texas House Hearing on Reducing Marijuana Penalties

 

Proposal to Reduce Marijuana Penalties in Texas to Receive Hearing TODAY in House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee

At 3:30 p.m. CT, Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy will hold a pre-hearing media availability with supporters of HB 81, including retired Texas law enforcement officials, a Baker Institute fellow, and leaders of Texans for Accountable Government and the Texas Young Republican Federation

* Statements below from bill sponsor and Committee Chairman Joe Moody and retired Texas District Court Judge John Delaney *

AUSTIN, Texas — A bill that would reduce penalties for marijuana possession in Texas is scheduled to receive a hearing today in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy will hold a pre-hearing media availability at 3:30 p.m. CT outside of Room E2.014 in the State Capitol. The hearing is expected to begin later in the afternoon.

Supporters of the bill who plan to participate in the media availability and testify at the committee hearing include retired Texas District Judge John Delaney; retired Houston Police Department Lt. Jay Hall; Baker Institute fellow Dr. William Martin; Texans for Accountable Government Executive Director Michael Cargill; Texas Young Republican Federation President John Baucum; and Heather Fazio, Texas political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. The measure is also supported by the League of Women Voters of Texas and the Texas Association of Business.

“I’m proud to present HB 81 to the committee and build on the bipartisan support it’s had from the very beginning,” said Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Chairman Joe Moody (D-El Paso). “This sort of reform crosses party lines because it’s a law enforcement issue, a business issue, a social justice issue, and a taxpayer issue we can be a lot smarter on. It’s time for Texas to take a nationwide lead on marijuana policy.”

HB 81, authored by Moody and Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) with 35 co-authors, would remove the threat of arrest, jail time, and a criminal record for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and replace them with a civil fine of up to $250. Under current Texas law, individuals found in possession of less than two ounces of marijuana can be arrested and given a criminal record, and they face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

There were 61,749 marijuana possession arrests in Texas in 2015, and there were more than 418,000 from 2010-2015, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. These arrests and subsequent prosecution have cost taxpayers billions of dollars.

“Passing HB 81 would free up police resources and relieve jails, courts, and taxpayers of substantial expense and time demands,” said retired Texas District Court Judge John Delaney. “Each marijuana arrest uses about 2.5 hours of police time. With 60,000-70,000 people arrested in Texas annually, this is a significant amount of police time that could be devoted to patrolling residential neighborhoods and business locations and responding to emergency calls.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics released a report in 2015, declaring it “strongly supports the decriminalization of marijuana use” and encouraging pediatricians to “advocate for laws that prevent harsh criminal penalties for possession or use of marijuana.”

More than two-thirds of Texans (68%) support reducing the penalty for low-level marijuana possession to a citation and $250 fine, according to a June 2015 University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. Only 26% were opposed.

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Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy is a broad coalition of organizations, activists, and community leaders dedicated to realizing effective, efficient, and evidence-based marijuana policies in Texas. For more information, visithttps://www.TexasMarijuanaPolicy.org.

Texas House Approves Flawed Medical Marijuana Bill; Measure Will Go to Gov. Abbott for His Signature

For Immediate Release
Monday, May 18, 2015

Contact
Heather Fazio
512-825-9142, hfazio@mpp.org

Texas House Approves Flawed Medical Marijuana Bill; Measure Will Go to Gov. Abbott for His Signature

Bill is intended to allow access to low-THC marijuana extracts for qualifying seizure patients; House fails to pass amendment to fix major problem

AUSTIN — The Texas State House approved a bill 96-34 on Monday intended to allow qualifying patients with intractable seizure conditions to access a marijuana extract containing high levels of cannabidiol, or CBD, and only trace levels of THC. SB 339, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler), is extremely unlikely to provide patients with relief because it requires doctors to engage in conduct that is prohibited by federal law. SB 339 previously passed the Senate on May 7. It now heads to Gov. Greg Abbott.

“On a certain level, the legislature should be commended for acknowledging the medical value of marijuana, and it is an historic vote in that sense,” said Heather Fazio, Texas political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Lawmakers missed several opportunities to amend the bill in ways that could have provided real relief to countless Texans. Not a single patient will be helped by this legislation.”

SB 339 requires doctors to “prescribe” marijuana to patients, which exposes doctors to federal criminal sanctions. By contrast, doctors “recommend” medical marijuana or “certify” patients to use medical marijuana in the 23 states with comprehensive medical marijuana laws and the District of Columbia. Unlike “prescriptions,” recommendations and certifications are federally legal and protected under the First Amendment.

“Nearly half of the states in the country have effectively implemented medical marijuana programs, and I have no doubt Texas could adopt an even better one,” Fazio said. “We need a law that ensures seriously ill patients who could benefit from medical marijuana are able to access it. There is no reason to put it off any longer.”

The bill also only allows for extracts with very little THC, and some seizure patients say a greater ratio of THC to CBD is necessary for it to be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of seizures. The bill also fails to allow access to any medical marijuana products for people suffering from other debilitating conditions, such as PTSD, cancer, and multiple sclerosis, for which medical marijuana has been found to have significant medical benefits.

Despite SB 339’s significant limitations, advocates support Gov. Abbott signing it into law and promptly implementing the program. It has frequently taken as long as two to three years for patients to begin safely accessing medical cannabis preparations after state medical marijuana laws are enacted. First, rules need to be crafted for the operation of dispensaries, then there is an application process, and finally the providers must find locations, build out their facilities, and begin cultivation.

“Even if doctors are unwilling to ‘prescribe’ marijuana, starting the implementation process will ensure a system of safe access is ready to go when the legislature meets in 2017 — at which point it can fix the flaw and expand access to patients with other serious conditions,” said Fazio.

“It is well established that cannabis can help with pain, nausea, and weight loss. In addition, a placebo-control study in Israel found that complete remission was achieved in five out of 11 subjects who were administered medical cannabis,” said Larry Talley, a retired Navy veteran from Dallas who suffers from Crohn’s disease. “I served my country with pride; now I live in pain every day. I deserve the freedom to use cannabis, a natural and safe medicine.”

Fourteen states have adopted laws that allow limited access to products containing CBD, although the vast majority do not function due to defects similar to those contained in the Texas bill. Twenty-three additional states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territory of Guam have adopted comprehensive medical marijuana laws which help thousands of seriously ill patients around the country.

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Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy is a broad coalition of organizations, activists, and community leaders dedicated to realizing effective, efficient, and evidence-based marijuana policies in Texas. For more information, visit http://www.TexasMarijuanaPolicy.org

Provocative Marijuana Television Ad to Begin Airing in Texas

In the ad, a retired narcotics detective and Texas Hill Country resident says people under the influence of marijuana are much less problematic than people under the influence of ALCOHOL and that ‘law enforcement officials have more important things to do with their time’ than arrest people for possessing the less harmful substance

The TV spot — online at http://youtu.be/E83Uv4VtpsE — will run in the state’s largest markets through Thursday at midnight, the deadline by which the House must approve HB 507, which would remove the threat of arrest, jail time, and criminal records and replace them with a civil fine of up to $250

AUSTIN — A provocative television ad in support of legislation to reduce penalties for simple marijuana possession in Texas began airing Tuesday in the state’s four largest media markets. The ad is scheduled to air on CNN, ESPN, and Fox News Channel across Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin through Thursday at midnight, the deadline by which the House must approve HB 507 in order for it to advance to the Senate.

In the ad, Russell Jones, a Texas Hill Country resident who served 10 years as a police officer and narcotics detective in California, highlights the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol and says limited law enforcement resources should not be wasted on arresting and jailing people for using the less harmful substance.

“I know of no instance in my entire career where someone was acting out under the influence of marijuana,” Jones says. “People under the influence of alcohol are much more problematic. Law enforcement officials have more important things to do with their time than arrest people for marijuana possession. They need to be there to protect the public, to respond to crimes such as robbery, burglaries, rape, and murders.”

The ad cites annual arrest reports produced by the Texas Department of Public Safety that show more than 360,000 arrests for marijuana possession were made in Texas from 2009-2013.

“Our state cannot afford to keep arresting people and putting them in jail for marijuana possession,” Jones says. “It’s time for a more sensible approach.”

HB 507, authored by Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso), would remove the threat of arrest, jail time, and a criminal record for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and replace them with a civil fine of up to $250. Under current Texas law, individuals found in possession of less than two ounces of marijuana can be arrested and given a criminal record, and they face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. The Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence approved the measure last week.

“This is commonsense legislation that is intended to reduce government waste and improve public safety,” said Heather Fazio, Texas political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, which produced the ad on behalf of the coalition. “Voters want law enforcement officials to spend their time and resources addressing serious crimes, not arresting and jailing adults for simple marijuana possession. We hope the House will pass this important legislation before time runs out.”

Three out of five Texas voters (61%) support reducing the punishment for simple marijuana possession to a civil fine with no possibility of jail time, according to a September 2013 survey conducted by Public Policy Polling. Only 30% said they were opposed.

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Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy is a broad coalition of organizations, activists, and community leaders dedicated to realizing effective, efficient, and evidence-based marijuana policies in Texas. For more information, visit http://www.TexasMarijuanaPolicy.org.