Patients and mothers to lobby Texas legislators for medical marijuana
Both patients and mothers of sick children are headed to Austin later this month to lobby legislators for medical marijuana.
Already this year there have been lobby events concerning the topic of marijuana, with a lobby day in February drawing about 300 people.
A group called the Patient Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics is headed back for their second visit with lawmakers to talk about the need for a medical cannabis program in Texas.
Vincent Lopez, the man who heads up the group, says that when patients talk to legislators, it’s an empowering experience.
“The experience of patients and/or parents talking with legislators at the Texas State Capitol can be an empowering one as it establishes face to face contact with the reality of one’s suffering which can have a conscious effect on the lawmakers individual perspective” Lopez states.
The patient lobby day, which takes place on Wednesday, March 25, is intended for patients only so that they can talk to legislators about their medical background and have a chance to explain how medical cannabis can help them.
There were plans last month to hold a patient lobby day, however due to the weather and out of concern for everyone’s safety, it was postponed.
Recently a 9-year-old girl, Alexis Bortell, had to leave the state and move to Colorado so she could receive medical marijuana treatment. Those treatments have since drastically reduced her seizure activity.
Their goal is to educate Texas legislators about the medical benefits of cannabinoid treatment for children living with cancer, autism, epilepsy and other debilitating conditions.
Co-founder and President of the group, AmyLou Fawell says that this will be their first such event.
“Moms, dads and caregivers from all over Texas will be attending the first-ever Moms’ Lobby Day for medical cannabis,” Fawell states. “Together, we will educate Texas lawmakers about the medical benefits of cannabinoid treatment for children who are suffering with debilitating conditions.”
She adds, “every legislator respects a Mom who is fighting to help her child. Our ultimate goal, as always, is to promote change in Texas law so that we can have the freedom to safely treat our children with medicinal cannabis under a doctor’s care.”
Fawell’s son Jack, age 14, has moderate functioning autism with severe aggressive and self-injurious behaviors. Despite an early diagnosis and intense behavioral, dietary and medical intervention Jack continues to struggle.
Polls show a strong majority of Texans support medical marijuana, and that keeps people like Fawell optimistic. So far three bills have been introduced pertaining to medical cannabis with another expected sometime this week.
“We definitely feel confident that we will see changes in Texas laws this year that will finally begin to reflect the views of nearly 80 percent of Texans who are in favor of medical marijuana.”
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