Medical Marijuana Exhibit Featured at Texas Capitol

Advocates for reform make their case citing increased public support and bipartisan backing

AUSTIN – The Texas Legislature has been in session for six weeks and dozens of marijuana-related bills have been introduced, including eight proposals to amend the state’s medical marijuana laws.

Advocates with Texas for Responsible Marijuana Policy are making their case at the State Capitol with a week-long exhibit, including displays featuring information about medical professionals and organizations who recognize the benefits of marijuana. We’re also featuring stories of Texans who have had to leave the state in order to access medical marijuana elsewhere. (Video tour.)

Under current law, those with intractable epilepsy have limited access to medical marijuana through the DPS regulated Compassionate Use Program. Since being enacted in 2015, the program has served less than 600 people statewide. Advocates say it’s time to open up the program to those with other debilitating medical conditions.

“Nearly 70% of Americans live in a state that has passed legislation allowing legal access to marijuana for medical purposes, including every state surrounding Texas,” says Jax Finkel, with the Foundation for an Informed Texas. “Most recently, Oklahoma, Utah, and Missouri have adopted laws allowing patients to use medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation.”

Public opinion has shifted dramatically in recently years and medical marijuana is now supported by more than 80% of Texas voters, according to the most recent University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. Even in conservative circles, approval is staggering. At their state convention last summer, the Texas GOP reaffirmed their support for legislative action to “allow doctors to determine the appropriate use of cannabis for certified patients.”

Mounting evidence from US and international research demonstrates proven efficacy of marijuana for certain medical conditions. In 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine published a “rigorous review of relevant scientific research published since 1999.” Their review found cannabis to be helpful for those suffering from chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

Researchers at the Salk Institute published a report in 2016 showing cannabis as an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and Israeli Israeli researchers have linked cannabis as an effective treatment for Crohn’s disease.

Dozens of marijuana-related bills have been filed, including eight proposals to expand access through the Compassionate Use Program. Advocates are optimistic that growing evidence and public support will sway lawmakers this year.

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Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy is a nonprofit advocacy organization working with a broad political coalition to advance sensible marijuana law reform in Texas. Contribute toward our efforts here and sign up for email notifications/action alerts.

Texas Veterans Lobby Day & Educational Exhibit

On Monday, February 25, Texans Veterans for Medical Marijuana will host a veteran specific lobby day, including an educational exhibit at the Texas Capitol​, which is free and open to the public. Find more info and register here for free.

Our state’s Compassionate Use Program is currently so restrictive that it only allows access for those with intractable epilepsy. Millions of patients, including Texas veterans living with service related injuries, could benefit from medical cannabis. If you are a veteran who wants legal access to medical cannabis or if your loved one is a veteran who could benefit from access, please join us in Austin to lobby state lawmakers!

Texas Veteran Lobby Day & Educational Exhibit​
Monday, February 25, 2019
Texas State Capitol
1100 Congress Avenue | Austin, Texas 78701​
More information and free registration here​​.

Veteran Educational Exhibit | 8am-5pm | Capitol E2 Hallway​ (Map)
Our exhibit will feature information about Texas veterans with service related​ injuries and how many want to have access to medical cannabis as an alternative to some of the dangerous and addictive drugs they’re prescribed.

Veteran Lobby Day | 10am-3pmCapitol 1W.14 (Map)
Veterans, caregivers, and guests will gather to share personal stories about military service and their desire to have medical cannabis available as an option in Texas. All materials will be provided and we’ll start our day with brief training to discuss proposed medical cannabis bills and how citizen advocacy makes an impact on public policy decisions.

Special guest, Representative Donna Howard, a nurse and strong supporter of medical cannabis access will join us to discuss the issue and her perspective on our chances for reform this year.

Veteran advocates will break up into lobby teams and visit with our own legislators, plus key lawmakers, including health committee members. Please be sure to dress professionally. While the event is free, registration​ is important so we can provide adequate materials, seating and more.

Agenda:

  • 8am – Texas Veterans Exhibit Open in the E2 Hallway
  • 10am – Registration/Check-in (Agricultural Museum, 1W.14)
  • 11am – Training / Visit from Representative Donna Howard
  • Noon – Break for lunch with your teams
  • 1pm – Start visiting offices!
  • 5pm – Educational Exhibit ends

Capitol Visitors Parking (Map)
Parking is available in the Capitol Visitors Parking Garage at 1201 San Jacinto Blvd (free if you have a disabled vet license plate). Details available here​.

​We look forward to working with and empowering veterans who need and deserve legal access to medical cannabis!

Hundreds of Texans Lobby for Reform!

Hundreds of advocates from across the state joined us at the Texas Capitol to visit with their legislators in support marijuana law reform! Our event was covered by KVUE (video), Texas Public Radio (audio), KRLD Radio (broadcast and print). KXAN (video) also covered our work earlier in the week. 

Please consider making a contribution toward our efforts, so we can continue lobbying lawmakers directly and empowering effective grassroots action. 

More than two dozen marijuana related bills have been introduced for consideration by the 86th Texas Legislature, include proposals to decriminalize small amounts to expand medical access for patients.

We are in an excellent position to pass meaningful legislation this session! As we move forward through the legislative process, we are focused on two priority policies:

Reducing penalties for low-level possession
Our objective is to eliminate threat of arrest, jail time, and (most importantly) the criminal record currently associated with marijuana possession. (Support: HB 63 | SB 156)

Making the Compassionate Use Program more inclusive
We’d like to see the Compassionate Use Program made more inclusive by allowing more inclusive access to whole plant cannabis for patients with debilitating medical conditions like cancer, PTSD, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and more. (Support: HB 1365 | SB 90)

Together, we will pass meaningful marijuana law reform in Texas. Thank you for your continued support and advocacy!

The 86th Texas Legislature convenes today at 12pm!

Today in Austin, those elected to serve us in the Texas House and Senate will be sworn in with an oath of office. While Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick presides over the Senate, House members will elect one of their own to serve as Speaker of the House. Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R – Angelton) is presumed to be elected as he pledged votes from a super majority of incoming members.

The 86th Texas Legislature will convene today at 12pm!
You can watch the proceedings live: (House | Senate)

Marijuana policy is front and center of Texas politics thanks to the tremendous effort put forward by passionate advocates for reform. Our grassroots movement continues to gather momentum, putting us in an excellent position for success.

There’s a lot of work to do in exactly 140 days, so we need
all hands on deck!

We’ll keep you posted as bills make their way through the legislative process. Please keep an eye out for action alerts to help us advance policy proposals that further our shared cause.

Here are a few steps you an take today to join the team:

1) Donate toward our lobby efforts at the Capitol in support of sensible marijuana policies,

2) Take a couple minutes to identify your legislators and their voting records, and

3) Follow us on social media; use #TxMJPolicy when posting about Texas marijuana policy!

To learn more about the legislative process and how to get involved, join us this Saturday, January 12 from 2-5pm in Austin for an advocacy training event, including a testimonial workshop. It’s free and open to the public, so register now and share the event with your friends or colleagues.

Additional upcoming events include: Policy Briefing and Luncheon in Houston (Jan. 15) and TxMJPolicy LOBBY DAY in Austin (Feb. 7).

Thank you for supporting our work and making marijuana law reform a priority this legislative session!

 

Texas legislature convenes tomorrow! #TxMJPolicy

The legislature convenes tomorrow and we’ll have 140 days to make an impact on our state’s outdated marijuana policies!

Along with our allies, we’ve been able to make tremendous progressin a short period of time. From regional advocacy training events and non-stop statewide media coverage, to building strong bipartisan support and hosting the first-ever Texas Marijuana Policy Conference in Austin — our coalition is advancing the cause in the Lone Star State.

We have laid the ground work, now it’s time to bring it home!

There are already more than a dozen marijuana-related bills up for consideration, including:

* Reducing penalties for low-level possession
* Making the Compassionate Use Program inclusive
* Licensing hemp cultivation, regulating CBD products

To advance our priority policies, we lobby lawmakers directly, inform and empower grassroots activism, and ensure positive statewide media coverage. Our efforts bring the level of professionalism necessary to influence lawmakers and bring about meaningful policy changes.

Will you contribute toward our efforts?
Please click here to donate today.

Upcoming events include:

– Opening Day Meet & Greet at the Capitol  (Jan. 8)
– Advocacy Workshop in Austin (Jan. 12)
– Policy Briefing and Luncheon in Houston (Jan. 15)
– TxMJPolicy LOBBY DAY in Austin (Feb. 7)

Please consider making a contribution toward our lobbying effortsThank you for your support!

Now Available: Limited Edition Polo

In preparation for our big Texas Marijuana Policy Lobby Day and other professional advocacy events we have planned this year, we’re excited to offer our supporters a limited edition, custom embroidered polo shirt.

This specialty item is available for a limited time and offers our supports an opportunity to show support for reform…
and look good doing it!


Proceeds from sales will be put toward our lobby efforts and split evenly between Texas NORML and Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy.  

This limited edition shirt is a moisture wicking, antimicrobial and UV   protection performance polo with flat knit collar and our specialty embroidered logo. The polo is platinum grey with a blue and red stitched logo. Select between fitted and straight cut styles.

Sales close on January 21st at midnight!

To secure your shirt, full payment is due at checkout. You can choose from two delivery options:

  1. Picked up at our Texas Marijuana Policy Lobby Day on Thursday, February 7th, 2019 by selecting the the “Pick Up at Lobby Day” option. Unclaimed shirts from Lobby Day will have to be shipped at an additional cost.
  2. Direct delivery. Your item(s) will be mailed out by February 11th, 2019.

Purchase your limited edition polo today!

Disclaimer: Because the item has not yet reached us, we can not guarantee the exact date your item will ship. Each pre-order item has an estimated shipping date but this is subject to change from the manufacturer without prior notice. If for any reason we are not able to fulfill your pre-order, we will refund the full purchase price immediately.

The Texas Legislature Convenes Soon — Are you prepared?

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.

In addition to lobbying lawmakers directly, we work to empower and mobilize grassroots advocacy. Since 2014, we’ve hosted many regional training events throughout the state, offering activists the tools they need to effectively advocate for reform.

This year, we’re teaming up with our coalition partners to host a
Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshop at the Capitol on Saturday, January 12!

Registration is free of charge, but seating is limited, so please reserve your seat now.

Constituent advocacy is one of the most critical tools we have as a grassroots movement. Legislators and other community members need to hear from Texans like you who want to see sensible marijuana policies instituted.

Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshop
Saturday, January 12, 2019
Texas Capitol, Room E2.002 (Maps)
2:00-5:00pm

In Texas, we cannot collect signatures to put reform on our ballot for voters to approve. Instead, we have to work through our state lawmakers to pass legislation. Beginning on January 8, we have 140 days to bring about meaningful reform. Lets make them count!

86th Legislature — Opening Day Meet & Greet

Join us at the Capitol on the first day of the 86th legislative session!

Opening day is one of ceremony and gratitude. It’s a great day to visit your legislator’s Capitol office and meet his/her staff. It’s not a day for lobbying, but certainly offers an opportunity to enrich your relationship with your legislators.

We will be serving complementary breakfast tacos and coffee (first come, first served) in the Capitol Grill, thanks to the generous support of Grav Labs. Additionally, we’ll be able to help you identify your legislators, their stance on reform, and the location of their offices.

Capitol Grill is located on level E1 in the Capitol Extension. Take the elevators down to E1 and follow signs to the grill. We’ve reserved a private space on the left side of the dining room.

Texas Capitol maps can be found here: https://tspb.texas.gov/plan/maps/maps.html

ADA Access: https://tspb.texas.gov/plan/access/access.html

PARKING IS GOING TO BE A CHALLENGE
It’s going to be a very busy day at the Capitol with many visitors. The visitors garage (https://tspb.texas.gov/plan/parking/parking.html) may be full, so plan on arriving early to find a nearby lot or street parking.

Email hfazio@txmjpolicy.org with questions or for more information.

We look forward to seeing you there to kick of the legislative session!

#TxLege Countdown — 5 days ’till session begins!

The 86th Texas Legislature convenes on Tuesday, January 8, marking the beginning of our 140-day opportunity to bring about meaningful reform!

More than a dozen bills have been introduced for consideration so far, with more expected to be filed before the March 8 filing deadline. Proposals range from reduced penalties for low-level marijuana possession and concentrated/infused products to full medical access for patients

We will be at the Capitol for opening day to be a part of the ceremony and visit with our legislative offices. If you’re in the Austin area and interested in joining us, find details here. Thanks go Grav Labs, we’ll be offering free breakfast and coffee (first come, first served).

Please consider making a contribution toward our efforts. Thank you for your support!

Other upcoming events include:

TxMJPolicy Advocacy Workshop in Austin (Jan. 12): http://www.texasmarijuanapolicy.org/advocacyworkshop/

TxMJPolicy Briefing and Luncheon in Houston (Jan. 15): http://www.texasmarijuanapolicy.org/houstonluncheon/

TxMJPolicy LOBBY DAY (Feb. 7): http://www.texasmarijuanapolicy.org/lobby-day/

Texas Marijuana Policy Briefing and Luncheon in Houston

Our Texas Legislature convenes on January 8 and advocates for marijuana law reform have more opportunity than ever before!
Join us for a private luncheon and policy briefing on currently proposed legislation, prospects for meaningful reform during the upcoming legislative session, and opportunities for advocacy at the Capitol or in your hometown.
Our policy briefing will be presented Heather Fazio, director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy. Heather has worked as an advocate for marijuana law reform since 2012 and has since built a broad coalition of supporters working to reduce penalties for low-level marijuana possession and bring patients safe/legal access to medical cannabis.
We’ll also be joined by John Baucum, political director for Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition. RAMP was founded in 2012 with a mission of helping to bring the Republican Party back to the ideals of freedom and justice, which were unfortunately set aside in support of prohibition.
Since its inception, RAMP has successfully brought the Republican Party of Texas on board reform through grassroots engagement and legislative action. The 2018 RPT Platform includes planks in support of both reduced penalties for possession and medical cannabis.
On-site parking available. ($5 for self-park, $15 for valet.)
Email hfazio@txmjpolicy.org with dietary preferences/restrictions or questions about the event.
Event sponsored by Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition. Thank you, RAMP!

Grassroots Action for Legislative Reform