Former Central Texas teacher Clif Deuvall runs for Texas congress
Libertarian candidate Clifford “Clif” Deuvall, a disabled Vietnam War veteran and former teacher is seeking election to the Texas House of Representatives for District 56, an area that includes most of Waco and the surrounding communities.
What type of person is Clif Deuvall? Simply put, even his foes find him to be a very likeable, agreeable person. Easy to approach, very easy to talk to, Clif can strike up a conversation with anyone on just about any subject. He’s the type that will talk about nearly anything he’s experienced, with the exception of 3D movies, as he jokes about a person with only one eye not being able to watch them. I assure him he’s not missing out on much.
Another thing he isn’t bashful about is talking about his views and he has stated that he wants to take this particular personality trait with him to the capitol, being tired of politicians telling people only what is convenient.
While talking with Clif one can feel a deep burning passion. It can be heard in his voice, and seen in his body language. In fact if you touch on a subject that he is particularly enamored with, he can talk for hours about it. This passion drives more than just conversation though; Clif has used it to propel him throughout his life it seems.
While he’s just your average guy trying to carve out his own little place in the world, he has taken bold steps to ensure that not only is his life made better off by his actions, but that the lives of others are made better off as well. Here is his story:
While serving in the Air Force during the 70’s Clif served on many special projects including an AC-130 Gunship Crew. During his time of service he ended up making a major sacrifice in which he was injured, ultimately losing an eye and having parts of his body hurt so badly that he still suffers from the injuries to this day. Upon getting out of the service, he began working for various aircraft companies, including the F-16 Project, but would ultimately go on to graduate Baylor University with a Bachelor’s of Science, and follow up with a Master’s at Tarleton.
Upon graduation Clif sought to be a leader in his community by sharing his knowledge and helping children through teaching high school where he taught government, primarily constitutional law, and economics, focusing on macro-economics and the economic costs of social issues. He would later go on to become an instructor coordinator at Baylor University.
During his college years he was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa and was a Merit Honors Society Scholar. As a teacher he attained a lifetime Geography Certification, was awarded the Texas Senate Commendation Teacher of the Year at AJ Moore academy, and Outstanding Honors Educator.
Having become 100% disabled in 2005, Clif’s life was dramatically altered as pain became a daily struggle. With only the VA prescribed Methadone to turn to, a highly dangerous drug used for pain management, his quality of life was taken from him as he felt drugged all of the time, in a haze, unable to function well, confined to his bed for long durations, and unable to spend much time with his family. Clif knew that if he wanted to get his quality of life back, he would need to seek an alternative way.
Having researched his conditions and alternative treatments he discovered that cannabis was an effective substitute and decided to give it a try. The effects were felt immediately as his pain levels were much better managed, he was able to spend time with his family again, and he no longer needed the methadone that took his quality of life. After a wrist surgery, he used a topical cream made from cannabis to help heal his wrist. There was only one problem though; this naturally growing plant that helped him manage his ailments is illegal and classified by the federal government as having no medicinal properties.
Upon learning about and realizing just how well his new treatment was working for him, Clif approached his doctors at the VA about the use of cannabis as medicine. They all agreed that cannabis was the best medicine for his injuries, but since it is illegal to possess they could not prescribe it to him and were not supposed to recommend he consume it. It was at this point Clif realized that he needed to get politically active.
He began by contacting all of his representatives, both at the state level, and federal. The majority of the responses he got back were pre-fabricated, impersonal letters stating the alleged dangers of cannabis and that it was classified by the federal government as a Schedule 1 drug, which means that it has no medicinal value.
Not to be deterred Clif pressed on, continuing to contact his representatives by mail and phone, researching and presenting them studies about the medical qualities of cannabis. He went to great lengths demonstrating that the plant is non-toxic, meaning that it is impossible to overdose on the plant and further showing that no one has ever died from consuming it.
Getting a few somewhat personal responses here and there, he began visiting their offices where he would meet with them face to face. The responses he got ranged from indifferent to heartless and defiant. Clif realized that he was dealing with a symptom that has been plaguing American politics for quite some time now, that our politicians are largely concerned only for themselves and the agenda of their biggest backers, not the agenda of the American people. This meant that in order to make a significant impact, he was going to have to stop standing on the sidelines and start getting his hands dirty.
He began visiting with his representatives on a regular basis, writing, calling, and in person; contacting the president several times as well. He attended political events and asked questions to candidates, did his research, and became a fixture in state politics to the point where all of his representatives knew him by sight and name.
In 2009 Clif established NORML of Waco Inc., a cannabis advocacy outreach group whose goals were to educate the public on the scientific facts of cannabis, promote political activism by teaching people how to contact their representatives and how the legislative process works, as well as helping out in the community through events, food and clothing drives, and highway cleanups. Since then Clif has been traveling not just through the state, but the country giving speeches and lectures on cannabis and other important political subjects, ranging in venue from college campuses to major rallies.
It was in 2013 that Clif decided that even more needed to be done. Recognizing that entrenched politicians cared very little for no one else but themselves and the special interests that back them, as well as the inadequate selection of politicians running for office, he began to plan his own run for office.
When asked his thoughts to running for office, his response was that representing the people of Texas is a service and a privilege, that the agenda of the people must be upheld over the agenda of a party, and anything worthwhile isn’t easily done. He makes it clear that you don’t have to be a millionaire to serve the people, and that there will be more common sense in politics when people who face the harsh economic and social realities of everyday life are elected, being that current politicians are so disconnected from the average person on the street. He wants to know what he can do for you rather than the special interests, that he will not be bought.
When asked to give a rough understanding of what his platform would be, he stated his main concerns once he is elected to office will be the care of veterans, education, medical access to cannabis, upholding state’s rights and keeping the federal government in check, sensible taxation, helping Texas agriculture through hemp legalization, upholding gun rights, decreasing incarceration rates, drug harm reduction, better transportation, implementation of a state ballot initiative, a more efficient legislature, imposing transparency and accountability, and helping local communities.
Clif will be on the ballot this fall as a candidate for the Libertarian Party.
By: Stephen Carter
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