TX: Marijuana Advocates Train Locals About Medical Use


State and local advocates of reforming marijuana policy met in Amarillo on Saturday to train others with similar views on how to be more effective change agents.

The event, hosted by Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, is the first in a series of ones being held across Texas as part of an effort to inject the marijuana policy debate into 2016 state legislative races and to educate supporters of marijuana policy reform.

An additional regional event is scheduled for today in Lubbock.

The event, held at Amarillo Public Library, also was attended by members of Amarillo Cannabis Culture, which is affiliated with Washington-based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), which has local and statewide chapters.

“Amarillo is an important city. It’s built as a conservative bastion and we’ve got legislators up here that sit on committees and have influence and need to know from their constituents exactly what the truth is about cannabis, not the propaganda,” said Jax Finkel, executive director of Texas NORML said.

The groups think the upcoming legislative session will be their opportunity to debunk myths and continue the reform push throughout the nation and the state.

According to the group, 76 percent of Texans think seriously ill people should have the right to use marijuana for medical purposes and 58 percent of Texans are ready to end marijuana prohibition.

“We want to see marijuana regulation, similar to alcohol, replace prohibition which has utterly failed on every measure,” said Heather Fazio, spokesperson for Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy. “We’ve seen how prohibition [of cannabis] has utterly failed from putting people in jail, to giving them a criminal record when they aren’t criminals.

The groups hope that arming citizens with facts will lead them to call, write, email and make appointments with legislative leaders and educate those leaders on facts and myths about cannabis during this break in the legislative session.

“We’re looking forward to the next legislative session in January. We want to meet with legislators, talk to them about sensible policies and work to get them instituted by the end of the legislative session in June,” Fazio said.

According to the group, 12 marijuana-related bills were introduced during the 2015 Texas legislative session with not much to show for it in terms of reform.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Marijuana Advocates Train Locals About Medical Use
Author: Lisa Lamb
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Photo Credit: Gillian Flaccus
Website: Amarillo Globe-News