Cannabis Education Exhibit at Texas Capitol

Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy is proud to announce that TFRMP-logo-on-transparent we will have an Educational Exhibit in the E2 Hallway of the Capitol Building from March 16th-20th.

We encourage everyone to stop by the Capitol to view the Exhibit and take the opportunity to stop by your Legislator’s office. Find out who your Legislators are here – http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

(Heather Fazio with the Marijuana Policy Project will be in the library on the second floor all week with maps to help you find your legislator’s office.

We will release a graphic digitally via social media each day of the week of the Exhibit.

PARKING: http://www.tspb.state.tx.us/SPB/Plan/Parking.htm (FREE for two hours!)

Texas State Lawmakers Introduce Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Legislation

Measures introduced in the House and Senate on Friday would allow patients with debilitating conditions — including veterans with PTSD — to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it

AUSTIN – Texas state lawmakers introduced legislation Friday that would allow patients with cancer, seizure disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

HB 3785, introduced by Representative Marisa Márquez (D-El Paso) in the Rep. Marisa MarquezHouse, and a companion bill that will be introduced later today by Sen. José Menéndez (D-San Antonio) in the Senate, would create a program through which individuals with qualifying medical conditions would receive licenses allowing them to possess limited amounts of medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. It would also direct the Department of State Health Services to establish a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana cultivators, processors, and dispensaries.

“The law currently does not reflect marijuana’s legitimate medical use and denies access to patients, such as veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, citizens suffering with cancer and severe aliments of the aging,” Rep. Marquez said. “By continuing to deny access to patients, we limit the rights of families to seek the best possible treatment for conditions that do not respond to other drugs or therapies. We should create paths, and not obstacles, in allowing doctors to recommend medicine that has been shown to work.”

The bills differ from previously introduced legislation that would allow access to CBD oils with little or no THC. Many patients have found that THC and other components of whole marijuana are needed in addition to CBD in order to effectively treat their conditions. Some have relocated to states with more comprehensive medical marijuana laws so that they can access whole marijuana and oils that include a more balanced ratio of CBD and THC.

“Since starting treatment with full spectrum cannabis oils [which include CBD and THC], our daughter has not had a single seizure or spasm,” said Dean Bortell, whose family relocated to Colorado so that his 9-year-old daughter, Alexis, who suffers from epilepsy, would have access to medical marijuana. “With prescription drugs, we never had a symptom-free stretch spanning more than 2 days. With cannabis oils, we’ve set a record of 11 days with no end in sight. The most important thing we have learned since arriving in Colorado and starting treatment is how vital it is to have access to the whole cannabis plant. Dosing decisions should be left to doctors and families, not lawmakers.”

Three out of four Texans (77%) think seriously ill people should have the right to use marijuana for medical purposes, according to a University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll released in February 2014.

“Every year, thousands of Texans are diagnosed with cancer, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, and other debilitating illnesses,” said Caitlin Dunklee, campaign director of Texans for Medical Freedom, which is supporting the legislation. “The suffering that these patients experience is devastating for them and their families. The bill being filed today would allow patients the freedom to access the medicine that can best alleviate their suffering.”

Twenty-three states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territory of Guam have passed laws that allow people with qualifying conditions to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

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.

Grassroots Action for Legislative Reform

Texans of all political persuasions agree:
It’s time for marijuana law reform!

TxLD1

With our lawmakers meeting for only 140 days every two years, we have a lot of work to do in a short period of time. Your participation is critical to changing laws relating to marijuana in Texas. Sign up for our Lobby Day!

Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy’s Citizen Lobby Day is a participatory event where we, the people, will engage our legislators and their staff. We will focus on both our civil penalties bill, which reduces penalties associated with the possession of personal amounts of marijuana (an ounce or less), and our medical marijuana bill, which will bring safe and legal access to seriously ill patients.

All materials will be provided and we’ll start our day with training for those who have never visited with their legislators. Please be sure to dress professionally.Dress as if you’re heading to a job interview.

Our broad coalition and united efforts will bring about more responsible marijuana policies in the Lone Star State. Will you join us for Lobby Day? Register today! 

HOST: Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy
DATE: Wednesday, February 18
TIME: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Texas State Capitol, Robert E. Johnson Conference Center
DRESS: Professional

Agenda:

10:00 a.m.: Registration/Check-in
11:00 a.m.: Training
12:00 p.m.: Lunch (Capitol Grill, Level E1 or bring your own lunch)
1:00 p.m.: Lobby Action!
3:30 p.m.: Social at Scholz Garten (1607 San Jacinto)

Register Now!

The politics of a marijuana buzz

The possibility of a marijuana buzz seems to be the big barrier for Sen. Kevin Eltife and Rep. Stephanie Klick in passing their medical-marijuana bills. Both Republicans, they’re out to persuade a conservative Texas Legislature to allow the plant to be used to treat epilepsy sufferers.

That’s a tough vote for a Republican, and the GOP rules the roost in Austin, so the two lawmakers crafted bill language and a pitch to account for the inevitable pushback.

The legislation is titled the “Texas Compassionate-Use Act.” They probably wanted to title it the “Don’t Worry, No One Will Get the Least Bit High Act.”

That’s because the cannabis oil that could be produced and dispensed under the bill would have to be extremely low in the THC compound that produces the high for pot users. The Eltife-Klick background materials say the “extremely low” THC levels would not be “sufficient to get the consumer ‘high,’ even in large doses.”

The bills (SB 339 and HB 892) dwell on controlled THC levels, using the term “low-THC cannabis” 51 times. The bills never use the term “marijuana.” They mention the variation “marihuana” once, by way of saying no one following the new law could be busted under current pot statutes. Current laws also use the variation “marihuana.”

All of this makes we wonder why — except for the politics of getting votes — does anyone worry about a cannabis user feeling slightly euphoric?

Typically, no one really cares if prescription pills put a smile on someone’s face.

Read more here: http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/2015/01/the-politics-of-a-marijuana-buzz.html/

CBD-Only Laws: The New Prohibitionist Strategy to Distract Voters and Delay Cannabis Reform

Photo Credit: Nugbuckets
Photo Credit: Nugbuckets

CBD-Only Wave Begins

Starting in late 2013 and continuing through the 2014 elections, in what appeared to be a sign of change on the horizon, the US saw a surprising new breed of cannabis bills passed and signed into law by many Republican Governors. The majority of these new bills were introduced by Conservative politicians in traditionally Conservative states and allow the possession and/or study of CBD extract oil devoid of therapeutic levels of THC . To date, very few patients have been helped in any of the states where these laws have passed, because none have a way to legally gain access to CBD oil, which like THC, is a Schedule 1 controlled substance.

,mmThese restrictive laws known as “CBD-only laws” are being passed at an astonishingly rate in response to pleas and lobbying efforts from parents of children stricken with seizure disorders after stories of pediatric cannabis therapy for epilepsy were highlighted on CNN’s documentary Weeds, hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Even though Dr. Gupta himself has been quoted as saying he doesn’t approve of CBD-only laws, the advocacy group “Realm of Caring” featured in the documentary has been credited for much of the parent lobbying efforts behind the limited laws that have been enacted in Florida, Alabama, Iowa, Tennessee, Utah, Kentucky, North Carolina, Wisconsin and South Carolina.

Read more here: http://www.ladybud.com/2015/01/21/cbd-only-laws-the-new-prohibitionist-strategy-to-distract-voters-and-delay-cannabis-reform/

American Academy of Pediatrics Recommends Rescheduling, Decriminalizing Marijuana

In a report released Monday, the American Academy of PediatricsAAP Logo suggested removing marijuana from Schedule 1 in order to make further research easier to accomplish.

From the Associated Press:

To make it easier to study and develop marijuana-based treatments, the group recommends removing marijuana from the government’s most restrictive drug category, which includes heroin, LSD and other narcotics with no accepted medical use, and switching it to the category which includes methadone and oxycodone.

The recommended switch “could help make a big difference in promoting more research,” said Dr. Seth Ammerman, the policy’s lead author and a professor of pediatrics and adolescent medicine at Stanford University.

The report also recommended removing criminal penalties for simple possession:

Citing the lifelong negative effects of a criminal record on adolescents, the AAP strongly supported reducing penalties for marijuana possession and use to misdemeanors. This policy statement, The Impact of Marijuana Policies on Youth: Clinical, Research and Legal Update is a recent revision to its previous 2004 report about the drug.

“The illegality of marijuana has resulted in the incarceration of hundreds of thousands of adolescents, with overrepresentation of minority youth,” wrote Seth D. Ammerman, MD, FAAP, of the 2014-2015 AAP Committee on Substance Abuse, and colleagues. Effects of marijuana-related felony charges include “ineligibility for college loans, housing, financial aid, and certain kinds of jobs,” they said. The report also recommended pediatricians get involved and “advocate for laws that prevent harsh criminal penalties” for possession or use of marijuana.
The authors state in an accompanying technical report that studies have not shown decriminalization results in an overall increase in marijuana use by adolescents, which is a chief concern of those opposed to decriminalizing the drug. In fact, states with decriminalization laws experience similar rates of marijuana use as those with tougher penalties. However, the authors cite “significant savings in criminal justice cost and resources” in states with decriminalization laws.

The Science of Medical Cannabis: A Conversation with Donald Abrams, M.D.

ReasonTV

Donald Abrams, M.D. is chief of Hematology and Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital and the co-author—with Andrew Weil—of Integrative Oncology (Oxford University Press). Abrams has extensive experience working with cancer and HIV/AIDS patients and is a pioneer in the field of medical cannabis research.

The U.S. government classifies cannabis—along with heroin and LSD—as a Schedule I drug, the most tightly restricted category of drugs in the United States. According to the federal government, Schedule I drugs are unsafe and have “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.”

However, as medical cannabis proponents have pointed out since the Controlled Substances Act was passed by Congress in 1970, cannabis has been used medicinally for thousands of years, and there has never been a reported case of a marijuana overdose. Moreover, in recent years clinical researchers around the world have demonstrated the medicinal value of cannabis.

Reason.tv’s Paul Feine sat down with Dr. Abrams to learn more about the science of medical cannabis.

Approximately 10 minutes. Produced by Paul Feine and Alex Manning.

Go to http://reason.tv for HD, iPod and audio versions of this video and subscribe to Reason.tv’s YouTube channel to receive automatic notification when new material goes live.

Grassroots Action for Legislative Reform