After Texas GOP opened door to medical marijuana, what’s next?

Now that the Republican Party of Texas has endorsed the decriminalization of marijuana and the federal re-scheduling and legal use of medical cannabis, there’s lots of speculation over what comes next for Texas.

The ball is rolling for the future of cannabis freedom in Texas …

The ball is rolling for the future of cannabis freedom in Texas and even opponents of legalization realize change is inevitable. More and more Texans who are not your “typical” street drug users are using cannabis products for various reasons.

Medical marijuana use is not a joke or something to make fun of. The pain associated with prohibition is very real. Instead of acknowledging the amazing benefits of marijuana, we have criminalized it and kept people from safe and legal access to a promising treatment.

Cannabis plants provide a multitude of health solutions for people suffering from debilitating conditions like PTSD, drug dependency, depression, anxiety, autism, seizure disorders, Alzheimers, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s, arthritis, migraines, chronic pain, and many many more.

People suffering from various types of illnesses are expressing significant improvement with responsible use of cannabis and not just for CBD only.

Understanding cannabis and how it effects the human body can help us manage the use of this plant more effectively.

Understanding cannabis and how it effects the human body can help us manage the use of this plant more effectively. Marijuana is a name given to the type of cannabis that contains illegal levels of THC.  The psychoactive effects of THC can be reduced with higher levels of CBD depending on the desired effect.

Research has revealed the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which consists of endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body that communicate to support other systems in the body like our immune and nervous systems. Plant-based cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant, like CBD, THC, and other cannabis components can help replenish the ECS when it is lacking. Studies have identified ECS deficiencies to be associated with various conditions cannabis has been known to treat.

THC is especially helpful for people who suffer from autism. Autism still mystifies the medical community and can be very emotional and painful to manage. At the 2018 Texas State Republican Convention, I had the pleasure of meeting several heroic families affected by autism who have stepped up to defend their right to treat their children with whole plant cannabis.  They are not just trying to find an excuse to get stoned or get their kids high.

They are not just trying to find an excuse to get stoned or get their kids high.

These are good and loving parents who have put their parental rights on the line to become their own advocates or Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism (MAMMA). Marijuana has a significant effect on autism, allowing these individuals to live happier and healthier lives.

As a former provider for families of children and adult children with autism, I know how difficult and scary it can be to deal with the symptoms of this disorder. Their situations can often be very dangerous with uncontrollable self-injurious and violent behavior. While I had the freedom to take a break or switch careers, these families don’t have that choice. They have run out of options to care for their family members because the medical industry lacks effective answers to their problems. Many choose to become medical refugees and move to legal states.

Veterans are finding relief through cannabis therapy as well. Too many of them have risked their lives so they might protect our freedom and they are still unlawfully restricted from safe and legal access to an herb that might end up saving their life.

When used appropriately, THC can provide relief from symptoms of PTSD. Individuals have even experienced relief from depression and suicidal ideations. CBD is also useful for mental health improvement and is an effective form of pain management for veterans who return with injuries.

Groups like Veterans for Cannabis … and others are bravely telling their stories.

Groups like Veterans for Cannabis, Veterans Cannabis Coalition, Weed for Warriors Project, Veterans Cannabis Project, and others are bravely telling their stories and putting time and effort into cannabis reform.

In New Mexico, legislation is being considered to provide military veterans with an automatic qualification for medical cannabis.

Cannabis has also become a more accepted treatment for pain management within the sports industry.  It is still controversial, of course, but it does provide the results needed without the danger of overdose or liver damage. It’s only a matter of time before it becomes a common pain reliever.

… there are still those who are very apprehensive …

Despite the momentum of medical marijuana legalization, there are still those who are very apprehensive about it. I’ve spoken to some who think we are headed for destruction. They envision their communities full of homeless potheads sleeping on park benches and jumping out of windows thinking they could fly after getting really high. Though I strongly disagree with this extreme prognosis, it’s not hard to see their perspective when you consider common stereotypes associated with marijuana.

The beneficial qualities of the plant have been overshadowed and compromised by abuse and misuse that typically occurs outside of the rule of law. Prohibition drives consumers to criminal outlets which are probably not well-informed or qualified to provide safe and effective recommendations. It creates a perfect environment for a culture of crime that glorifies recklessness, violence and theft by empowering drug cartels to “regulate” markets. Unfortunately, the cartels favor efficiency over quality and safety.

There may be illicit drug dealers out there who are passionate and careful in the administration of marijuana. But let’s be real, criminal markets are usually not indicative of quality and safety.

To a cheerleader for self-governance, prohibition is a clear violation of the individual’s right to manage their own body and should be reversed immediately. The government is no substitute for personal responsibility. Drugs don’t cause someone to neglect their responsibilities and make poor choices just as much as a gun doesn’t cause someone to murder. We should not punish everyone for the mistakes of a few.

Conservatives desperately need to be leading the effort to get government out of health care and let doctors and patients decide whether cannabis is useful or not.

Conservatives desperately need to be leading the effort to get government out of health care and let doctors and patients decide whether cannabis is useful or not. Waging a war on drugs using government force is only making things worse and costing us more than $50 billion per year. That adds up to more than $1 trillion since the drug war began. Government has done enough damage with its FDA “approved” opioid epidemic.  Cannabis may not be a cure-all, but we now know it significantly lowers the rate of opioid-overdose and provides a natural solution to many painful ailments.

Though the majority of Texans may never be ready to end prohibition of hard drugs like cocaine, meth, or heroin, the cannabis industry has certainly entered a new era. Whether you agree with it or not, there’s no turning back.