Marijuana reform advocates prepare for the next Texas Legislative session

Supporters of marijuana reform got some training Sunday on how to push for reform bills in the next legislative session.

Representatives with the Texas Marijuana Policy Project held a training session at the Oso Recreation Center Sunday afternoon.

They discussed the expansion of Texas Compassionate Use Act, to allow more people to have access to medical marijuana. The current law, approved last year, allows certain types of epilepsy patients to have have access to low doses of medical cannabis.

“Those with PTSD, cancer, multiple sclerosis won’t have access unless we make this program more inclusive during the next legislative session,” said Heather Fazio, Marijuana Policy Project Political Director.

Kathleen Gray was diagnosed with Epilepsy in the 70s. She took prescription drugs her whole life for the problem, which left her with problems that forced her to have brain surgery. Since then, she says, she hasn’t been the same and believes that more people should be able to use medical marijuana instead of prescription drugs.

“I’ve had enough with prescription drugs. The side effects,” said Gray. “And that’s the reason I’ve made six trips last year  to the capitol. Five of those by myself from Corpus pushing for legalization of medical marijuana. And I will be there again.”

Another issue the group is wanting to tackle, is to reduce penalties for people in possession of small amounts of marijuana

NORML Corpus Christi, a marijuana reform group, petitioned the City of Corpus Christi earlier this year to make those changes, but failed. So now they’re taking the battle to the state, to push for marijuana possession charges be a civil charge instead of criminal.

“This is more like a red light camera ticket. To where they might be able to attach it to some things, your drivers license, your car registration, or other things. But you can’t… You won’t be going to jail,” said Kyle Hoelsher, local attorney and NORML CC President.

The group plans begin petitioning state elected officials in January once the Texas Legislature re-convenes.