State representative pushes for debate on possible medical marijuana

State representative pushes for debate on possible medical marijuana

State representative pushes for debate on possible medical marijuana

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by Barry Davis / KENS 5

khou.com

Posted on May 6, 2014 at 7:52 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 6 at 7:52 AM

Texas State Rep. Elliott Naishtat hopes the seventh time will be a charm. He's tried in at least six previous legislative sessions to get a bill through the legislature which would allow the use of medical marijuana.

Naishtat said he's not trying to legalize pot or even legalize medical marijuana, just provide an option for judges who are forced to deal with very sick people who use marijuana to help them live a better quality of life.

The bill provides for an "affirmative defense." That means if someone is busted for marijuana possession and they have a debilitating disease or illness and they can prove their doctors suggested marijuana might help them, a judge "could" dismiss the charges.

The bill also protects doctors who might make that suggestion.

Right now there are 21 states which allow some form of use of medical marijuana. 13 other states are working on similar legislation and two states have actually legalized the use of recreational marijuana, Colorado and Washington.

Paul Loew and his family are an excellent example of why some states allow the use of medical marijuana. The Loew's 3-year-old daughter suffers from Dravet Syndrome. It mainly appears in young children and causes them to suffer sometimes hundreds of seizures a week.

Loew said it's hard to guess how many times his wife Amber has saved his daughter's life, during a seizure. They said they have tried every available option to help their daughter, but nothing has really worked.

After reading online about the effects of medical marijuana on other Dravets children, the Loews packed up and moved the family to Colorado.

Naishtat said in the last session, he actually got his bill before the calendar committee, but he knew he didn't quite have enough votes so he didn't ask the chairman for a vote, but he said that day is coming.

According to Naishtat more and more of his colleagues are telling him, behind closed doors "I support what you're trying to do, but I can't vote for it because I don't want to look soft on crime."

"Maybe the eighth time will be the charm!" Naishtat said If the bill doesn't make it through the next session. 

He may be right too. We questioned each of our Representatives and Senators in the San Antonio delegation and found support and opposition. You can see how your political representatives feel on the issue of medical marijuana by clicking on this link.

 

 

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