Article by Chuck Lindell, American-Statesman
Texas military veterans gathered Wednesday at the Capitol to press lawmakers and Gov. Greg Abbott to allow for the medical use of marijuana, saying the drug offers life-saving treatment for those afflicted with chronic pain, brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I wake up each day in pain,” said retired Army Sgt. Javier Tovias of Edinburg, who stopped taking prescription pain medication because of adverse health effects.
“Cannabis offers relief … and gives me a semblance of hope, but if I want to heal myself, I must choose to do so illegally,” Tovias said during a news conference next to the Capitol’s Vietnam Veterans Monument. “I’ve seen far too many of my brothers and sisters suffering from the harmful effects of prescription pills, and we are allowed no other option in treatment.”
Veterans also delivered a letter, written by retired Army Maj. David Bass and co-signed by 1,413 other veterans, to Abbott’s office to request a meeting to discuss the governor’s opposition to the expanded use of marijuana for medical purposes.
“Cannabis,” Bass wrote, “is more effective and safer than the current pharmaceutical drugs used to treat our injuries.”
A medical marijuana program, overseen by state regulators, would let veterans stop purchasing marijuana from “questionable sources” and use cannabis safely under a doctor’s supervision, Bass told Abbott.