Rio Grande Valley non-profit pushes for marijuana legalization
At the southern most tip of Texas, marijuana activism has begun establishing a foothold.
In the Rio Grande Valley, a stretch along the Rio Grande river separating Texas from Mexico which is described as a conservative Democratic-leaning area, about 1.3 million people call it home. It is also a hotspot for the War on Drugs.
U.S. Army veteran Jav Tovias says that the area has been ravaged by the drug war, and he has taken a stand to advocate that the war finally end for marijuana prohibition.
Tovias, along with several others, formed RGV NORML, a non-profit sub-chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, to help educate people about the need to change marijuana laws in Texas.
“I was diagnosed with symptoms related to PTSD by the VA” Tovias, who serves as the group’s executive director, says. “I refuse to be prescribed medications that could kill me and I cannot lose any more of my military brothers and sisters.”
He adds, “cannabis supporters are often stereotyped as criminals or part of illegal drug operations. Our supporters include students, veterans, and patients who just want access to a safe medication and believe that marijuana consumers should no longer be made criminals.”
RGV NORML has already been involved in other areas of the state as well, showing up to participate in the Austin marijuana march put on by Texas NORML in May. They’ve also attended training seminars with other chapters from around the state.
Tovias says many have shared their stories about the need for medical marijuana.
“Cristina Limas, our treasurer, shared her story with me about her daughter, Lailah, who has Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS), a severe form of epilepsy. Previous medications that Lailah had been prescribed were causing more harm. The doctors knew the potential side effects but are limited to what they can prescribe. She had been reading about other families throughout Texas with similar situations but had yet to be heard. Others also started sharing their experiences and how cannabis reform affects their daily lives.”
The group has a monthly meeting, and will next meet on Saturday, July 18 at University Drafthouse in Edinburg.
For more information about the group, visit their Facebook page.
Email Texas Cannabis Report at Contact@txcann.com