Marijuana panel discussion to air in San Antonio this week
A live panel discussion concerning marijuana will be aired over the radio this week and will feature a district attorney, veteran, activist, and the mother of a child who could benefit from medical cannabis in Texas.
Hosted by KTSA out of San Antonio and dubbed “The Pot Summit” the panel includes Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood, Texas NORML Executive Director Jax Finkel, retired school teacher and Army veteran David Bass who heads up veteran outreach through Texas NORML, and Diane Coombe with Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism (MAMMA).
LaHood has been part of an effort to implement a cite and release program in San Antonio and surrounding areas which would allow those found with small amounts of marijuana to avoid being arrested and instead receive a court summons. They would still subject to prosecution under state law, however if the offenders complete a class, pay a fine, and do community service they will be eligible to not be convicted of marijuana possession.
“Let me emphasize, this program is designed with the intention of balancing community safety, fiscal responsibility for the taxpayers and opportunities for citizens of Bexar County,” LaHood has been quoted as saying.
Finkel and Bass, along with a number of representatives with MAMMA, visited with most state lawmakers earlier this year during the Texas Legislative session, helping to yield unprecedented support for both reducing penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis, and legalizing whole plant medical cannabis, a bill which garnered official sponsors from over half of the Texas House of Representatives. Both bills ultimately failed however due to late scheduling and the legislature running out of time.
“I am excited about being on this panel because San Antonio has a large veteran population,” states Bass. “As hard as we have worked on vet issues related to medical marijuana since 2013, there are still many Texas vets who are not aware of our work. Our goal is to increase our vets active in the Texas Veterans for Medical Marijuana movement from the current number of 1,000 vets to 5,000 vets by the time the legislature convenes in January 2019.”
The panel will air on Thursday, November 16 from 6 pm to 7 pm on KSAT, channel 107.1 and 550, though an internet live stream will be available on their website.