Medical Use, Marijuana & Decriminalization
Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy is a broad coalition of organizations, activists, and community leaders dedicated to realizing effective, efficient, and evidence-based marijuana policies in Texas. They have asked me to respond to their survey about marijuana policy issues. These are my responses to their survey.
1. Do you support statewide decriminalization (penalty reduction) for possession of small amounts of marijuana (1oz. or less)? Yes
2. Do you support expanding the Compassionate Use Program to put Texas on par with the 33 states that currently allow safe and legal access for patients with debilitating medical conditions and a doctor's approval? Yes
3. Do you support legalizing adult (21+) use of marijuana in Texas, replacing the illicit market with well-regulated cultivators and dispensaries? Yes
I am an advocate of legalization and decriminalization of marijuana. Most importantly I support medicinal use of marijuana since there is some evidence that it helps mitigate some medical conditions such as PTSD, Cancer, Epilepsy and other conditions. I have had two back surgeries and I know what chronic pain is, having suffered debilitating episodes of pain. If believe that marijuana as a pain reliever option would likely be a better option than opioid products. Secondly, I support removing marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. Too many lives are being ruined for possession of user quantities of marijuana, what should otherwise be considered a misdemeanor.
When I was a uniformed police officer in the late 1970's, I applied law enforcement discretion and discarded user quantities of marijuana, that I encountered on anyone or in their vehicles, right there on the street, so that they would not have to be arrested and have their lives ruined by an arrest record. I also counseled those people to leave and use their marijuana at home so as to avoid arrest. The federal government needs to recognize that a democracy is founded on the will of the people. Many duly elected state legislatures have decriminalized marijuana; the federal government needs to follow suit and apply drug enforcement efforts to decidedly more dangerous drugs.