Rally in Cowtown to show support for Fort Worth medical marijuana
A rally for medical marijuana is happening in Fort Worth, and organizers are out to show that there’s a need for medical professionals to start talking about the medicinal possibilities of cannabis.
Dubbed the Cowtown Medical Cannabis Rally, the non-profit group DFW NORML is inviting doctors, patients, and parents to speak out about the need to raise awareness about how medical marijuana can help people.
The group wants to encourage more healthcare professionals to research medical marijuana after Texas Children’s Hospital of Houston announced in Oct. 2014 their official participation in the first worldwide clinical trial for Epidiolex® in children with Dravet syndrome.
The group however announced,
While this study is currently limited to CBD-only medicines, we at DFW NORML feel this is an important first step in the medical community acknowledging the efficacy of cannabis as a medicine for Texas patients. This rally will be held in support of continued research and to further educate the medical community at large about the urgent need for whole plant medical marijuana, as supported by the following quote from Staff Neurosurgeon and CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta:
“I think the push for CBD-only legislation reflects a lack of understanding of the science involved. If we turn cannabis into a single compound medicine—this is CBD, and nothing else—I think we’re going to find it doesn’t work as well as a whole plant extract. And the danger is that if it doesn’t work as well, people will think that it’s a bust, when in fact, you really need the whole plant to get maximum benefit. Certainly with marijuana the whole plant works better than the single-compound derivatives people have become so focused on.”
Since then, the group has been hearing rumors and whispers that a hospital in north Texas is also in talks to participate in this study or one similar to it.
Executive Director of DFW NORML, Shaun McAlister, stated that it’s all about bringing awareness to what patients are enduring.
“We need a compassionate medical marijuana program, and this rally shows that we care about the patients in Texas and helping save lives,” McAlister says.
He says that there is a lack of good information for both doctors and patients, and for those who are suffering, he doesn’t want them to have to resort to the black market to obtain their medicine.
“We’re losing too many patients, they’re either dying or moving away, and that’s not the kind of attitude that is going to keep people referring to us as ‘the great state of Texas’,” he stated.
The aim is to make discussion of medical marijuana less taboo so that patients and doctors can more openly discuss the possibilities of what medical cannabis can do for people.
While previous rallies by the group have seen thousands of people turn out, with often many people toking up in plain view, the group says that they will be telling people up front that this will not be a place to break the law. McAlister says that this is a serious event to publicly discuss medical marijuana and not a giant smoke out.
Currently there are three bills concerning marijuana, with two having already been filed, including a medical marijuana CBD-only bill, and a penalty reduction bill for possession of small amounts. Plans for a full medical marijuana bill are in the works and should be introduced in the Texas legislative session in March.
Many in Texas would prefer a full medical marijuana system which includes growers, dispensaries, and access by all patients, with at least the ability for those whose medical conditions aren’t initially approved, to be able to appeal for inclusion by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services.
The rally is slated to begin at noon on Saturday, Feb. 7 at Trinity Park Pavilion 3 in Fort Worth and will include a diverse lineup of speakers, a few live bands, food, and vendors. It will wrap up by 4 p.m. The park is located at 2401 University Drive.
Speakers are still being confirmed for the event. Check the group’s Facebook event page for more information.
A poll conducted by CBS shows that 86 percent of Americans support legalizing medical marijuana.