Military veterans to discuss medical marijuana at Texas capitol
Military veterans and local marijuana policy reform advocates will gather at the State Capitol in Austin on Saturday for the 2016 Texas Veterans Medical Marijuana Conference.
The event, hosted by Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy and Texas NORML, will feature educators, advocates, medical professionals, and veteran activists discussing how medical marijuana can help seriously ill Texans. Panels will cover a variety of topics, including how to navigate current laws and how advocates can promote marijuana policy reform in the Texas Legislature in the coming session. Keynote speakers will include Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project.
“Due to injuries incurred during my service, I’m medically separated from the Army for multiple conditions, including PTSD and degeneration of the spine,” said Jeremiah Looney, Iraq War veteran and mayor of Whitewright, Texas. “I have been prescribed over thirty different medications, which had side effects that were very much like my PTSD symptoms and intensified the hopelessness and suicidal thoughts I had. Without this plant, I 100% believe I would be dead, either by my own hand or from being continually over-medicated by the Veterans Administration.”
“With the numerous pharmaceutical drugs I was prescribed, I was in a fog of pain and pills,” said Kate Cochran Morgan, an Iraq War veteran. “This led to also drinking heavily. I have found that cannabis is the only medication that helps me with all of my problems with no side effects or the feeling that my life is over.”
“We risked our lives to serve our country and now we risk our freedom to use a medication that frees us from addiction to opioids and the debilitating side effects of psychotropic drugs,” said David Bass, a retired U.S. Army officer and Iraq War veteran. “We are not criminals and we should not be treated as criminals. We want to purchase our medication legally at state licensed dispensaries.”
“For too long, Texans have faced harsh penalties for using marijuana to treat their medical conditions,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project and Austin resident. “We aim to change that in 2017 and make the Lone Star State safe for veterans and others who could be helped by medical marijuana.”
The conference will be hosted on Saturday, October 15 from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm in the Legislative Conference Center, room E2.002, at the Texas state capitol building.