Saturday, November 19, 2011

WHAT HAPPENED TO HB 1491?

In May of this year, House Bill 1491 was sent by the Texas Legislature into the Public Health Committee for review. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Elliott Naishtat, would sanction the physician’s recommendation of medical cannabis to patients without any reprisal or condemnation from the legal or medical communities. Even more importantly, HB1491 allows for the prescribed medical use of Cannabis as an Affirmative Defense against marijuana possession charges.


This is very similar to the Arizona law that protected me from fear of prosecution or arrest while living in Arizona with responsible medical use and a letter from my doctor.

While the law may begin by simply stating a person can present an affirmative defense, if properly supported by a Judiciary that will uphold this defense, positive changes will be affected through fewer bodies incarcerated, especially the sick ones. When the D.A. realizes that the Judges will not jail a person for medically recommended treatment, s/he should follow that it is not in their interest to prosecute such cases, and subsequently refuse to file charges. When law enforcement realizes that the D.A. will not file charges on a medical defense, they will stop wasting their time and further endangering the health of the patients, by arresting them.

While this is NOT medicalization in the “California” sense, it is a GIANT LEAP in the right direction.

Most importantly, it loudly overplays the propagandist rhetoric demonizing cannabis as an illegal street drug that is destroying our “youth”.

And while the most favored arguments against any cannabis use are invented under the inauthentic auspices of protecting the nation’s children, no medicalization effort of yet has included the service to children.

Forbidden fruit always tastes better

From my experience and studies of addiction, communications and human behavior, I would claim that exactly the opposite behavior would be predicted from children raised in a culture where cannabis is medicalized and socially accepted. It is human nature to want what is forbidden; what is not allowed is especially exciting to the developing and curious brain of a child or teen. Medicalization and the unrestricted media, transparency, and advertisement that would come with it, may instead have the effect of desensitization rather than increased curiosity.

Texas HB 1491 appears to be lost in committee. It’s time to wake them up and remind them! Follow the link to the members of the Public Health Committee. Take time to stay on them, stay with this issue.
Follow this link to the Texas Legislature, and another list of links directly to the Public Health Committee Members.  
http://www.legis.state.tx.us/Committees/MembershipCmte.aspx?LegSess=82R&CmteCode=C410
If you need another reason or reminder of why this is so very important in Texas, take a look back at my blog entry “The Five Worst States to Get Busted With Pot”, here’s a link so you don’t have to search for it: http://sustainablygreen.blogspot.com/2011/05/norml-five-worst-states-to-get-busted.html

Stay posted, stay involved…

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