Home»Activism»Rio Grande Valley non-profit pushes for marijuana legalization

Rio Grande Valley non-profit pushes for marijuana legalization

Members of RGV NORML attended the marijuana march in Austin earlier this year.
Members of RGV NORML attended the marijuana march in Austin earlier this year.

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.”

Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018
Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018

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.

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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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7 Comments

  1. July 9, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Reblogged this on U.S. Marijuana Party.

  2. July 9, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    Hey you guys down south, all I can say is I’m sorry about your problems this
    just has to end real soon it’s crazy. Peace to All BigLs

  3. David
    July 10, 2015 at 1:28 am

    All I can say to this is, Keep up the good work and never let Life get you down, No madder what others may say in opposition to what your doing keep moving ahead becasue I Fully support what your trying to do, May God be with you and Bless you all!!!

  4. July 10, 2015 at 10:06 am

    If Texas would just legalize they would not try to bring it across the border of course they will still be trying to bring some thing else but at least it would not be weed ! Good luck to the valley keep on fighting for our freedom!!

    • David
      July 10, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      o i am pretty sure they would still bring it across the border just not as often or as much, since it would be legal then and It would not have the Huge payout it has now becasue people would be able to buy it legally in the state Reliably And safely so there would not be any real money in it for them.. but you are right they would be moving more to the other Drugs like Coke and Other Methamphetamine.

  5. July 10, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    The federal government is providing patients with pr-rolled cannabis… http://www.medicalcannabis.com/patients-care-givers/federal-ind-patients/ What a bunch of hypocrites!

  6. rickyb
    July 26, 2015 at 1:51 am

    Everybody should try growing their own. I tried it in Colorado not long ago, and my efforts were SPECTACULAR !!

    Planting a single seed, nurturing it through the seedling stage.

    Waiting for the vegetative stage to hurry up

    Witnessing the first flowers in the pre-flowering stage.

    Watching as the flowers begin to multiply.

    Seeing the glistening resin glands, blanketing the tender buds.

    I’m going back to Colorado, my senses are watering already !!