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The $1.1 trillion federal spending bill Congress recently passed is loaded with so many Wall Street giveaways that it’s sick-making — like eating an entire, ancient fruitcake in one sitting. But it also includes one little ray of hope for a lot of actually sick people: a measure to prohibit the federal government from interfering with state laws regarding medical marijuana. That’s a very good thing, because the Drug Enforcement Administration has raised hell for years in California, the first state to legalize medical cannabis.

Unfortunately, while 23 states and Washington, D.C. have medical marijuana laws in place, Texas is among those that either have no medical marijuana laws or what amounts to the same thing. Progress Texas, a liberal political organization that challenges “right-wing narratives that lead to bad public policy,” thinks that might soon change.

“We’re very optimistic about our chances of getting some policy reform on the medical marijuana issue fairly soon,” said Ed Espinoza, executive director of the group. “I don’t think it will happen overnight, but I do hope we can have a thoughtful political conversation about it this coming year.”

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Static hopes Espinoza is right. Marijuana’s medicinal value has long been established for people suffering through chemotherapy and those with multiple sclerosis, sickle cell anemia, glaucoma and a host of other serious health problems. A lot of Texans who might benefit greatly from cannabis won’t try it for fear of running afoul of the law.

The new provision, which the Los Angeles Times says “ends the federal government’s prohibition on medical marijuana” might go a long way in getting politicians to review their positions.

Gov.-Elect Greg Abbott’s office did not respond to queries on whether he is rethinking his views. Several recent polls that indicate that a majority of Texans favor allowing it for medical purposes.

Nationally, the big question is whether the Justice Department, via the DEA, will retain the right to decide how much marijuana an individual can grow without getting busted, no matter what the law is in that state.

Allen St. Pierre, executive director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said he doesn’t think the provision in the budget package will cause the DEA to hold off if a weed patch is big enough.

“If the DEA is alerted to a very large grow — and the federal threshold to get their attention is generally 1,000 plants — I don’t know that they won’t step in,” he said. “We’re going to have to see how it plays out once the new law is fully implemented.”

Shockingly, calls to the DEA for comment were not returned. Static is sure it’s just that everyone was out caroling.

5 COMMENTS

  1. The need to immediately, completely, legalize Marijuana throughout the world is one of the most pressing moral issues of our time.

    More and more present and former members of law enforcement agree, and have formed a rapidly expanding group of current and former undercover cops, FBI, DEA, prosecutors, from all over the world called

    LEAP — Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

    because they’ve seen the damage prohibition causes to America and the world.

    See http://www.leap.cc

    I’m a Scientist. Not a politician, not a cop.

    But as a Scientist with a strong interest in Cancer research, I feel even more strongly about the need to ensure that no Cancer patient is denied it, because I’m so impressed with its benefits for Cancer patients.

    I urge everyone reading this to PLEASE call and email the Attorney General, the press, Congress and the President today.

    Medical Marijuana helps with Alzheimer’s, Autism, Cancer, seizures, PTSD and chronic pain, and has helped may Americans, including many veterans, stop using Alcohol, and hard drugs, both legal and illegal ones.

    Every minute an American dies of Cancer.
    Every 19 minutes an American dies of a prescription drug overdose.
    Many vets become addicted to prescription opiates and die from them.

    NOBODY has ever died from smoking too much pot.

    Cancer patients are seeing remarkable results using high dose Medical Marijuana oil, in many cases achieving complete remission, even for stage 4 cancers — there are many excellent articles on the web, and videos on youtube with patient’s personal stories about their experiences with it — and every Cancer patient that uses Marijuana to ease their suffering benefits greatly from doing so.

    It is immoral to leave Marijuana illegal, for anyone, for even a second longer.

    For Cancer patients, its a matter of life and death.

    Cancer patients can’t wait.

    Medical Marijuana has an unmatched safety profile, and for people who suffer from so many diseases, of so many kinds, its a medical miracle — and the scientific evidence behind it is rock solid.

    For Cancer patients, Medical Marijuana encourages apoptosis and autophagy of Cancer cells, while leaving normal cells untouched, is anti-angigogenic, anti-proliferative, and is anti-angiogenic.

    Its also synergistic with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, making both more effective.

    For many Cancer patients its meant the difference between life and death.

    For everyone else, its a far safe alternative to Alcohol, and infinitely safer than Cigarettes.

    Either take them off the market too, or legalize Marijuana right now.

    2016 is too far away, Its too long to wait. Every year we lose more Americans to Cancer than died in WWII.

    Between now and the 2016 elections, roughly 1 MILLION Americans will die of Cancer.

    And Its a horrible way to die.

    • Doubt he’s still alive, but Texas Valley Police Chief Cartenas 12.19.14 KRGV interview entitled “Edcouch Police Chief: Drug Dealing is Ruining our City” states “thousands and thousands and loads are going to other states.”Nuff said. Don’t look for TX “leaders” to turn loose of such ….rebate lol….

    • FWPD is NOT going to lie in (drive into or preventative patrol) what they themselves and Councilperson made for SWFW taxpayers by purposely staying out. Too many of those Fed. “approved” areas in SWFW, NE Tarrant Cty and undeniably, across the entire state. I don’t see TX letting go of the dough or pissing off all the MX psycho head-choppers.

  2. I live in Amarillo and started my petition drive and after 3 weeks we have over 1600 signatures. I am a proud Texan Republican we are changing the law through education.

  3. Believe TX will the very last state, to ever legalize m in any format. One, the rampant, pervasive corruption associated w/ Fort Worth-Dallas being home and headquarters to at least 7 of MX’s biggest cartels. Two, so much “cleansing” facilitated by illegal m and all the laced weed like PCP and m used too, to introduce buyers-smokers to cocaine, benzos, meth and heroin. M reportedly constitutes an estimated 60-70% cartel income so I simply don’t see TX being able to legalize it and risk hurting the feelings of all the cartels, cartel associated, crooked City Council members, etc.

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