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Patients headed to Texas capitol to lobby for medical marijuana

The Patient Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics lobbied state representatives in Austin back in January.
The Patient Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics lobbied state representatives in Austin back in January.

Seeking the right to use medicine which is legal in 23 other states, patients from around Texas will be heading to Austin this week to speak with legislators about the need for a medical marijuana program.

Headed up by the Patient Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics, those who are suffering hope that their representatives listen to them when they come to the capitol on Tuesday.

“This event has been put together “strictly” for patients, parents, nurses, physicians, & caregivers of sick and suffering Texans that have chosen to come together in order to advocate, educate, and lobby for Medical Cannabis legislation only; our objective is simply to spend the day in an act of “making our presence known” to our state representatives” says Vincent Lopez, who is organizing the event.

Vincent Lopez
Vincent Lopez

Lopez has been lobbying state legislators for several sessions now, even as he suffers from an illness which confines him to a wheelchair. He believes though that it’s important for him and others to be there, and that legislators take notice of his wheelchair, which is a strong symbol for the disabled.

Patients will meet shortly before heading out to begin their lobby session. They’ll be armed with a bio of themselves, what their medical condition entails, and how cannabis can help them. They’ll also be presenting a proposed medical marijuana bill to each representative as well.

This comes on the heels of a citizen lobby day this past week when 300 people were in attendance to talk with legislators about all aspects of changing marijuana laws in Texas, focusing especially on a penalty reduction bill.

A non-profit cannabis advocacy organization in the Dallas/Fort Worth area will also be lending a hand.

DFW NORML has chartered a bus and will send 50 people to Austin to help those in need.

“Due to the overwhelming success of last week’s Citizen Lobby Day, the DFW NORML Board of Directors has decided that one of the best ways we can use chapter funds, especially while our lawmakers are in session is by sending advocates to the capitol as often as possible,” says the group’s executive director Shaun McAlister. “To that end we’re excited to offer free seats on our charter bus for up to 50 patients, parents, caregivers, veterans and medical necessity advocates from north Texas to ensure that Austin understands how badly Texans need to get medical marijuana right the first time.”

This is the second such patient lobby day, as the group previously held a similar event back in January.

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a journalist and information technology specialist living in Waco, Texas. He has been working with the cannabis movement since 2009. He founded Texas Cannabis Report in 2013 to bring Texans accurate cannabis related news.

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